Misaki stops Riggs at 'Strikeforce at the Mansion II'

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Strikeforce's return to action in Beverly Hills, CA draws to a close as Kazuo Misaki earns a controversial win over Joe Riggs after a second round fight stoppage.

Capitalizing on its successful debut a year ago at the private residence of Playboy founder Hugh Heffner, Strikeforce at the Mansion II was an invitation-only event where elite guests were treated to a wine tasting and gourmet buffet dinner before the show, with the fight being carried live on pay-per-view. There were nine fights on the card scheduled for the evening.

The first round of the main event saw very little action as Misaki and Riggs were feeling each other out. Fans expressed their displeasure over the lack of action. A pair of low kicks by Misaki put him ahead in the scoring 10-9 after the first round. The second round saw the action open up. Misaki started to throw more punches and combinations in the first minute, with Riggs blocking most of the blows and only offering a timid response. Riggs found an opening after a straight left, and followed it up with another powerful left punch that stunned Misaki. Misaki immediately got to his feet and answered with a right cross punch that knocked Riggs staggering backwards. Misaki quickly jumped on Riggs and pummeled him with punches, with Riggs covering up to block them.

The controversy came several seconds later as referee Josh Rosenthal stopped the fight, awarding the win to Kazuo Misaki at 2:29 of Round Two by technical knockout (TKO) due to unanswered repeated strikes. In an interview with MMA Weekly, Rosenthal said that he warned Riggs three times that he needed to advance his defensive position, but he failed to do so. Riggs, upset by the stoppage, said in an interview, "I'm really upset, I thought it was an early stoppage. That's twice Josh Rosenthal's fucked me over, first with Alex Stiebling, now with Misaki." Misaki said in his post-fight interview that he didn't feel qualified to comment on whether the stoppage was premature.

Full results of the evening's card:

  • Kazuo Misaki (21-8-2) def. Joe Riggs (28-11-0) by TKO (unanswered repeated strikes) at 2:29 of Round 2
  • Josh Thomson (16-2-0) def. Ashe Bowman (9-5-0) by TKO (unanswered repeated strikes)at 1:14 of Round 1
  • Terry Martin (18-5-0) def. Cory Devela (9-2-0) by TKO (unanswered repeated strikes) at 2:08 of Round 3
  • Mitsuhiro Ishida (17-4-1) def. Justin Wilcox(5-3-0) by Submission (Armbar) at 1:21 of Round 1
  • Trevor Prangley (18-5-0) def. Anthony Ruiz(21-12-0) by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
  • Luke Stewart (6-1-0) def. Jesse Juarez (6-5-0) by Submission (Armbar) at 4:55 of Round 1
  • Eric Lawson (7-2-0) def. Kenneth Seegrist (5-1-0) by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:07 of Round 1
  • Brandon Magana (6-1-0) def. Brandon Thatch (3-1-0) by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Jesse Gillespe (2-2-0) def. Dave Martin (0-2-0) by Split Decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)