Devin Cole got everything he could handle from short-notice replacement opponent Shawn Jordan at Strikeforce Challengers 17. Cole took the unanimous decision but he lost the first round and was in trouble briefly in the third.
Jordan, a stocky bull of a man, hurt Cole with uppercuts in the first round and even threw the wrestler with a sharp hip toss. From there it got crazy as the 255 plus pound heavyweight took Cole's back with the agility of a spider monkey. He almost had Cole flattened out but gave up the position to go for a rear naked choke. The gritty Cole fended it off, but Jordan came back to hurt him with punches to end the round.
In the second, Jordan landed a superman punch and seemed to have Cole on the ropes briefly, but Cole's wrestling skill came to bear at that point. Once Cole got Jordan down, he didn't waste his opportunity and wore down Jordan with knees to the face and body.
In the third, Jordan visibly faded but still managed to lock in a guillotine choke briefly but lost it when he went to his back. Big mistake against a powerful wrestler like Cole who dominated position for the rest of the round to cruise to a decision win.
Lavar Johnson had been expected to face Devin Cole but got hurt with only days left before the fight. Jordan took the fight on an unbelievable three days notice.
Both men turned in excellent performances. Cole has earned a shot at a bigger name opponent and Jordan certainly earned a return shot at the big time.