All it took was 54 seconds for Ronda Rousey to once again silence critics and walk away from the cage with another signature armbar victory as the reigning Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion defended her title in sublime fashion against Sarah Kaufman in the headliner of the Strikeforce event in San Diego on August 18.
Bantamweight Title fight
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Sarah Kaufman
Rousey (6-0) came running out of her corner to meet Kaufman (15-2) in the center of the cage in the opening stanza and quickly backed Kaufman up with aggressiveness and a jab. From there, Rousey found the positioning she needed to get the fight to the ground. Once her signature armbar was initiated, Kaufman tried valiantly to hold on and scramble out, but as the arm extended after a few seconds of rolling on the ground, Kaufman had no choice but to tap.
Kaufman, who claimed in the post-fight presser to be “embarrassed” by her performance, has lost the only two fights of her career by armbar. Unable to find any offense against Rousey, she was only able to throw four strikes in the bout according to CompuStrike. The canadian remained classy in defeat and said she wants to fight her way back up.
Rousey made an effort to call out former featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos (9-1, 1 NC) after her fight and reiterated her desire for that fight at 135 pounds while fielding questions in the post-fight presser.
"I need to send out a challenge to Ms. Cy-Roid, there," Rousey said. "People want to see you have the first fair fight of your life. I'm the champ now. The champ doesn't go to you. You go to the champ. Come down to 135 and let's settle this.”
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Derek Brunson
In the evening’s co-main event, former Strikeforce middleweight champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza dispatched of Derek Brunson (9-2) in just 41 seconds with a vicious knockout. In the middle of an exchange, “Jacare” landed a crushing right hand that sent Brunson falling face-first to the canvas. After some follow-up punches, referee Mike Beltran stepped in to call it.
With the win, Souza advances to 16-3 with 1 No Contest and more-than-likely set himself up nicely for a rematch with current middleweight champion Luke Rockhold sometime later this year or in the beginning of 2013. Rockhold defeated Souza in September of 2011 in a very close fight. “Jacare” has since finished both of the opponents he’s faced.
In what had “Fight of the Night” potential on paper, welterweights Tarec Saffiedine (13-3) and Roger Bowling (11-3) did battle for a full fifteen minutes on the main card but the fight failed to live up to its potential. The ever-technical Saffiedine would walk away from the fight with three 30-27 scorecards from judges as he landed 86 of his 169 attempted strikes according to CompuStrike, 47 of which were leg kicks.
Even though the fight had glimpses of momentary success for Bowling, he never really found his stride and though he connected on 77 of 159 thrown strikes, he was unsuccessful grabbing a single takedown in the entire fight while Saffiedine clearly displayed the better cage generalship for three rounds.
When pressed for answers post-fight, Saffiedine expressed his desire to fight current welterweight champ Nate Marquardt. Saffiedine extends his Strikeforce record to 6-1 with the win. Bowling falls to 3-3 in his last six bouts.
Lumumba Sayers vs. Anthony Smith
Anthony Smith (17-8) came into his fight with Lumumba Sayers (6-3) with 15 finishes in 16 victories and he extended that number to 16 in 17 with a first round triangle choke submission victory over Sayers. Smith showed proficiency in all areas of his game, posting solid numbers in his stand up game as well as his ground game. But it was the three submission attempts that found him success as Sayers practically fell into the triangle choke following a slip from Smith that forced him on his back.
The 24-year old Disorderly Conduct fighter advances to 9-1 in his last 10 fights. Sayers has his two-fight winning streak snapped.
In the first fight of the main card shown on Showtime, Ovince St. Preux and T.J. Cook put on quite the little show of durability in the cage as they traded hard shots for just a little over two rounds. Ultimately, St. Preux, the former University of Tennessee linebacker, needed just one punch in the third round to turn the lights completely out on Cook.
While the fight was pretty even statistically on the feet, the big difference in the contest was St. Preux’s ability to get the fight on the ground on both occasions he went for a takedown. The 15 ground strikes seemed to make a difference in wearing down Cook a little bit in the first two rounds before the former Volunteer was able to connect in the third stanza.
St. Preux bounces back from a loss to Gegard Mousasi in December to advance to 12-5 in his career. Cook drops his second straight and also finds himself at 12-5.
Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie
In prelim action, Miesha Tate (13-3) and Julie Kedzie (16-11) put on a fight that should garner attention for “Fight of the Year” as the ladies went back and forth with momentum in the fight. Kedzie would strike early and often with head kicks and strikes and look much the better of the two in the first round; Tate would find her rhythm in the second with takedowns and strategy.
The third round was all Kedzie, who was landing at will before following Tate to the ground after hurting her. There Tate was able to lock on an armbar, come from behind and elicit a tap from Kedzie to win the fight.
Though Tate was able to get herself a win with a nice come-from-behind submission, Kedzie was rolling in the striking department. CompuStrike had her landing 71 of 115 total strikes (71%), 17 of 21 leg strikes and 23 of 27 ground strikes. Maybe more impressively, Kedzie held Tate to only one successful takedown in six attempts.
Kedzie drops her second straight fight and Tate, unimpressed with her performance tonight, as she told at the post-fight press-conference, picks up her first victory since losing to Ronda Rousey in March.
Adlan Amagov vs. Keith Berry
In other action, Adlan Amagov (10-2) defeats Keith Berry (11-10) in controversial fashion. Herb Dean called a halt to the bout when it looked like Berry had fallen down and taken bad damage following a leg kick from Amagov. After a punch of two as a follow up, Dean stepped in and called a stop, much to the dismay of an outraged Berry. Natheless, Amagov is credited with a 48-second TKO stoppage.
Germaine de Randamie vs. Hiroko Yamanaka
The first female MMA-fight of the night was full of surprises as standout kickboxer Germaine de Randamie (3-2) took home a 30-27 decision across the board from judges in her fight with Hiroko Yamanaka (12-2, 1 NC). Randamie, not surprisingly, was the much better striker during the contest landing on 69 of 137 total strikes, including 32 power strikes. Yamanaka was unable to get the fight to the ground, missing on two takedowns and engaged in some heated exchanges with de Randamie but found herself on the losing end more often than not.
Bobby “King” Green vs. Matt Ricehouse
The first fight of the night saw Bobby “King” Green (19-5) bullied and beat up Matt Ricehouse (6-1) for the majority of three rounds taking a unanimous decision from the judges. Ricehouse loses a fight for the first time in his career. Green is currently riding a four-fight winning streak following a loss to Gesias Cavalcante in 2011.
Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California
Bantamweight Title Fight
Ronda Rousey (c) def. Sarah Kaufman via Armbar after 0:54 in Rd.1
Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza def. Derek Brunson via K.o. after 0:41 in Rd.1
Tarec Saffiedine def. Roger Bowling by points (unanimous)
Anthony Smith def. Lumumba Sayers via Triangle Choke after 3:52 in Rd.1
Ovince St. Preux def. T.J. Cook via K.o. after 0:20 in Rd.3
Miesha Tate def. Julie Kedzie via Armbar after 3:28 in Rd.3
Adlan Amagov def. Keith Berry via TKO after 0:48 in Rd.1
Germaine de Randamie def. Hiroko Yamanaka by points (unanimous)
Bobby Green def. Matt Ricehouse by points (unanimous)