Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley (8-0) continued his streak of perfection, earning a unanimous decision over Tarec “The Sponge” Saffiedine (10-3) in a highly-anticipated showdown of rising welterweight (170 pounds) stars and the STRIKEFORCE Challengers main event Friday night, live on SHOWTIME from Nashville Municipal Auditorium.
The 28-year-old Woodley, a two-time All-American NCAA wrestler for the University of Missouri and St. Louis native, stuck to his game plan, pressing Saffiedine with repeated takedown attempts set up by aggressive strikes. Saffiedine’s balance and takedown defense were strong as expected, however,
Woodley neutralized Saffiedine’s stand-up game, pressing Saffiedine against the fence and striking whenever possible. Woodley’s ground game was superior for the most part as he remained in dominant position for much of the three round encounter.
“I did well,” said Woodley. “He’s got some power and some pop. I think I kept the pressure on him and got some strikes in there. For me, it was about getting out of his range and getting in there when I could. I think I did a good job tonight.”
Former University of Tennessee star linebacker Ovince Saint Preux (10-4) continued his recent surge, earning a unanimous decision over road warrior “Abongo” Humphrey (7-3) of Atlanta. His start made the 27-year-old Saint Preux, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, the first fighter in history to compete in three consecutive STRIKEFORCE events.
Photography by Esther Lin/STRIKEFORCE
“I knew I had to win the third round to get this fight. He’s definitely a tough opponent,” said Saint Preux, a winner of seven straight bouts.
Saint Preux came out on fire in the opening round of action, mounting Humphrey three times while working aggressively on the ground. In the second stanza, Humphrey scored a knee strike that stunned his opponent and Saint Preux countered with a flurry that hurt Humphrey, but was still unable to finish the fight.