04 March 2012
Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship
Ronda Rousey (5-0) RD 1 SUB (Armbar) Miesha Tate (12-3)
Time of Submission: 4:27 RD 1
In what has to go down as an all-time grudge match Ronda Rousey backed up her smack talk to snatch the title from reigning champion Miesha Tate. The buildup to this fight was tremendous with both fighters trading verbal barbs back and forth to the lead up to this fight. But, this was no show, this was real and the bad blood was evident from the opening bell as Tate came out looking to take Rousey’s head off. Rousey ate a couple of good shots before the fight went to the ground. While Rousey worked to get her patented armbar, Tate used her wrestling to smother Rousey. Tate, on Rousey like white on rice, tried valiantly to go for a rear naked choke while draped on Rousey’s back. Rousey would eventually get back to her feet where Tate looked to clinch. However, there are things you don’t do and getting in the clinch with a world champion judo player like Ronda Rousey is one of them. Rousey easily hip tossed Tate on to her back and after getting the mound did what everyone in the world expected her to do, latch on to Tate’s arm. Tate fought through the painful contortion of her arm longer than anyone I have ever seen but eventually she had to relent to the armbar. In five fights Rousey is not just the new Strikeforce bantamweight champion, she’s MMA’s next breakout star.
Strikeforce Lightweight Fight
Josh Thomson (19-4, 1 NC) UD KJ Noons (10-4)
Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
The less said about this fight the better. For three rounds Josh Thomson simply held KJ Noons down but did little to do much damage. Noons had a decent 2nd round when things were standing but Thomson simply owned him. Unfortunately, the whole contest was devoid of action.
Strikeforce Welterweight Fight
Kazuo Misaki (25-11-2, 1 NC) SD Paul Daley (29-12-2)
Scores: 30-27, 29-28, 28-29
The problem with a one-punch knockout fighter is that they often fall in love with their own power and fail to properly formulate a “Plan B” if sheer power is not enough. Such was the case Saturday night as KO highlight reel machine Paul Daley was thoroughly out-classed by Japan’s Misaki. It appeared that Daley had little respect of Misaki heading into the fight but the Japanese fighter did not come to Ohio to lose. Misaki took the fight to Daley, to everyone’s surprise. Using subtle feints and head movements to pepper Daley with shots throughout the fight. Daley looked shell shocked that someone would dare try and stand with him but Misaki showed great heart in bringing the heat. Such was his success that Daley started actively shooting for takedowns, something that most would never have envisioned, to try and weather Misaki’s assault. Daley did manage to open up a nasty cut on the forehead of Misaki in the third round, but again, Misaki just kept coming forward. The fact that this was split decision is not telling of how good Misaki was tonight.
Strikeforce Middleweight Fight
Lumumba Sayers (6-2) RD 1 SUB (Guillotine) Scott Smith (18-10, 1 NC)
Time of Submission: 1:34 RD 1
It’s safe to say that it may be time for Scott Smith to hang up his gloves. The once iron-chinned warrior has seen his skills erode with time and in each appearance we see less and less of the old Smith. Against the unheralded Sayers, Smith was outclassed by a fighter with a fraction of his experience. Sayers was faster, stronger, and more well-rounded taking down Smith at ease, including a devastating WWE over the shoulder slam. Eventually, and quite easily, Sayers clamped on a guillotine that forced Smith to tap in the opening round.
Strikeforce Middleweight Fight
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (15-3, 1 NC) RD 3 SUB (Arm Triangle) Bristol Marunde (15-4)
Time of Submission: 2:43 RD 3
Marunde’s Strikeforce debut was an unenviable task as he stepped in for the injured Derek Brunson against former middleweight champion “Jacare” Souza. Souza, who is coming off his title losing performance to Luke Rockhold was hellbent on getting his career back on the winning track and Saturday night it showed. For all the accolades one can bestow upon the heart and chin of Marunde the gap in the class of the two fighters was painfully evident in this fight.
Looking to showcase some of his newfound stand up technique Jacare looked comfortable standing and trading leather with Marunde early on. While Jacare wasn’t landing anything of note he did drop Marunde in the first with an overhand right. When the fight went to the mat, again, it was clear that Jacare (a 5x BJJ champion) was the dominant fighter. After a methodical second round Jacare turned up the heat and after taking the fight to the ground secured the arm triangle to end the fight.
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