Voelker wins trilogy bout in first Strikeforce show in Vegas

Bobby Voelker promised a victory Friday night in his trilogy match against Roger Bowling at the Palms, and the 32-year-old Kansas City, Mo. native delivered in a big way — smashing the Cincinnati native with a wicked knee in the second round and finishing the 29-year-old Bowling off with punches in the first ever Strikeforce Card held in Las Vegas.

“It was pretty suspenseful, he was winning the whole fight. I knew he was gonna come in hard, but I knew I just had to wait, weather the storm and catch him with something hard — which is exactly what I did,” said Voelker, who also defeated Bowling by second-round punches in their second fight last October, while Bowling took the initial bout 14 months ago when an inadvertent eye poke forced the contest to go to the judges in the third round.

Another eye poke, this time in the first round had Bowling — who was clearly winning the fight at that point — thinking not again. But he cleared a couple eyelashes off his eye and got back to work.

But instead of continuing to utilize his strong standup game, which had given him a clear advantage, Bowling chose to charge in for the clinch.

The move proved costly as Voelker sit back and wound up with the high, hard knee.

“I don’t know what I was doing. I don’t know if I got a little bored,” Bowling said. “I think I got a little comfortable and next thing you know, I guess I took a knee and wasn’t responding to his strikes.”

Canadian wants championship back

Victoria’s Sarah Kaufman doesn’t like losing and she took her frustration out on Liz Carmouche Friday night, dominating their women’s welterweight bout with a unanimous decision victory.

Next up Kaufman hopes is a rematch with current champ Marloes Coenen, who took Kaufman’s belt with a third-round armbar last October.

“I need Marloes to win that match,” said Kaufman of Coenen’s bout with Meisha Tate at Strikeforce’s show next weekend outside Chicago. “I want to take that title back and I want to avenge that loss.”

Strikeforce Challengers 17 Results

Lightweight (155 pounds) — Sterling Ford defeated Brian McLaughlin by unanimous decision 30-27, 29-28, 30-27.

Lightweight (155) — Bill Cooper def. Maka Watson by submission (rear naked choke, 2:39-Round 2).

Middleweight (185) — Anthony Smith def. Ben Lagman by KO (:33-Round 2).

Light heavyweight (205) — T.J. Cook def. Lionel Lanham by TKO (4:59-Round 1).

Middleweight (185) — Adlan Amagov def. Ron Stallings by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28).

Women’s welterweight (135) — Sarah Kaufman def. Liz Carmouche by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Light heavyweight (205) — Ovince St-Preux def. Joe Cason by TKO (1:12-Round 1)

Heavyweight (265) — Devin Cole def. Shawn Jordan by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).

Welterweight (170) — Bobby Voelker def. Roger Bowling by TKO (2:16-Round 2).