Chechen middleweight Adlan Amagov took a split decision win over Ronald Stallings in his Strikeforce debut.
Middleweights Stallings and Amagov opened up the Showtime broadcast of Strikeforce Challengers 17: Voelker vs. Bowling 3.
Amagov dominated the first round with a somewhat unusual mix of strikes: side kicks, spinning strikes and a sprinkle of punches. He sealed the round with a take down and a throw against the grappler Stallings. Stallings kept coming forward, but did nothing notable offensively.
In the second, Stallings landed a sharp knee to the face and worked to force the clinch against the fence. Amagov's judo background showed in his persistent use of the right hand overhook aka whizzer. Stallings landed some effective dirty boxing in the clinch then went for a trip, but Amagov fended off the take down attempt. After some exchanges, Stallings forced another clinch against the fence. Amagov used his overhook to land a quick pair of hip tosses. Amagov followed up with punches from the top position. Stallings fought his way out of a front headlock and went back to the clinch where he landed a sharp knee. Amagov went wild to end the round, so wild he ended up falling on his back attempting a flurry of spinning attacks.
Stallings forced a clinch to open the third and landed a series of knees to the face from the Thai plum. A quick double leg put Amagov on his back. Stallings quickly got side control and worked for a kimura. Stallings traded the submission attempt for the mount. Amagov escaped out the back door and got back to his feet. They traded knees in the clinch with Stallings backed into the cage. After a referee restart, they traded in cage central. Amagov winged wild punches and Stallings tried a flying knee. Stallings locked on a standing guillotine choke and Amagov used a nifty spinning escape to get free. Amagov used some fence grabbing to foil a take down attempt.