The first fight of the night at Strikeforce Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov is Chris Mierzwiak vs. Dominique Steele. This is a middleweight fight, meaning 185 pounds. The referee in charge of the action is
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ROUND 1 - Both fighters standing orthodox, but Steele immediately closes the distance and tries to stalk. Steele lands two uppercuts and Mierzwiak fails on a takedown that he turns into a sweep. In the scramble Mierzwiak nearly lands an inverted triangle, but Steele managed to base out and escape. The fighters stand again. Attempted outside trip from Mierzwiak, but the balance of Steele allows him to land on top. Another scramble and they're both back to their feet. Fighters clinch and exchange knees, Steele getting the better of them. Nice right hand from Mierzwik, now a left. Body lock takedown from Mierzwiak and now he has Steele's back. Mierzwiak releases the body triangle and Steele reverses into Mierzwiak's guard, now stands.
MMA Nation scores this round 10-9 Mierzwiak.
ROUND 2 - Both fighters not quite exhausted but visibly winded at the start of the round. Same outside trip from Mierzwiak gets reversed again by Steele on the right side of Mierzwiak. Steele on top as Mierzwiak tries to recover position, but no significant ground and pound yet. Mierzwiak, however, looks tired. Steele slams his way out of an attempted triangle. Mierzwiak stands and Steele is trying to tee off as the two stand in front of each other and fire. Steele drops Mierzwiak and is now on top in Mierzwiak's half guard. Steele moves to the mounted crucifix, but can't hold it.
MMA Nation scores this round 10-9 Steele.
ROUND 3 - Steele secures double underhooks and pins Mierzwiak against the fence. Mierzwiak reverses and the two separate. Right hand from Steele timed off of Mierzwiak's outside leg kick drops Mierzwiak. Steele now in Mierzwiak's full guard. Mierzwiak attempts an oma plata, but Steele ends up with a tight waist on Mierzwiak. Steele secures a double leg takedown now with over half of the third round expired. Steele tries for another far side armbar, but it goes nowhere. Steele overcommits and Mierzwiak takes Steele's back. Steele manages to reverse even within Mierzwiak's body triangle.
MMA Nation scores this round 10-9 Steele and the fight 29-28 Steele.
Strikeforce results: Dominique Steele defeats Chris Mierzwiak by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27).