I caught some of the Strikeforce card last night. Roger Gracie v Kevin Randleman was one that I really wanted to see. Randleman has almost as many losses as wins. Many of the losses are due to a submission - record of 17 - 15. Roger has an MMA record of 3 - 0. And he hasn't been in the ring in a while.
Randleman was like a train. Moving forward in the first round. Leg kicks and shrugging off any strikes that Roger threw. Roger was working on establishing his jab.
The second round, Roger seemed to find his jab. Just pawing it out there - at one point, the Strikeforce announcer said what I was thinking - it was taking a page out of the Nick/Nate Diaz book for jabbing. It seemed to bug the heck out of Randleman. Randleman. Roger was able to put together some left right combinations that also worked well, pushing Randleman up against the cage. Pretty much, anytime Randleman tried to get with in Roger's reach, Roger would throw a couple jabs while backing up. It worked well.
The beginning of the end for Randleman started with Roger's back up against the cage defending against a take down. Roger was able to push Randleman back away from the cage, and set up a thai clinch with some knees. One knee dropped Randleman like a sack and Gracie ended up in mount. Randleman was able to explode out, hips moving, but Gracie was more than prepared. First in a modified seated mount - landing some punches from the top. Then moving with Randleman's escape attempts to north-south, then moving to side and then full mount very quickly. It was fun to watch. Gracie, compared to Randleman's bulk and explosiveness, seemed tall and wiry. Roger was in mount for a brief time attempting an arm triangle. As Roger was moving his lower body over to the side to really take advantage of the choke, Randleman was able to do a little bit of a hip escape to move away from the choke, but Roger was ready and moved his body in position to take back.
From back, Roger really flattened out Randleman. Gracies, hooks underneath Randleman's thighs, with his weight pitched forward over Randleman's head (I hate when that happens). Randleman rolled sideways hard, but again Roger was prepared and was able to keep back but lock up a body triangle.
The last 1:59 of the second round, Roger was working on getting his long arms into position to get the rear naked choke. And at about 0:56, Roger was able to get both forearms underneath Randleman's chin, lock up a hand on a bicep and shoot his left hand back behind Randleman's head. REALLY LOCKED UP! Randleman tapped out and then passed out.
It was a fun fight to watch. There was one thing that the announcers said between that 1:59 to the 0:56 when Roger was working on setting up his choke. That Roger was having a lot of trouble getting the choke in because Roger primarily trains with a gi. I think that is the first time I heard that. I've heard that guys that don't train grappling with the MMA gloves regularly have a hard time because they aren't used to how the gloves can get in the way. But I've primarily heard that training with the gi gets MMA grapplers a different perspective on grappling. They are used to thinking about controlling their opponents in different ways and are used to the different "restrictive" feeling that a gi may give them. I dunno if I agree with the announcers in this case. Roger Gracie had no problems locking in the choke and secured a win.