Strikeforce came to the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio tonight for Strikeforce: “Tate vs Rousey.” The card was headlined by a Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship grudge match between champion Miesha “Takedown” Tate and Olympic medallist “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey.
Also tonight, former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza faced late replacement Bristol Marunde. Paul “Semtex” Daley took on Kazuo “The Hitman” Misaki and Sarah Kaufman battled Alexis Davis for a second time. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for tonight’s card.
Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs Miesha “Takedown” Tate
Tate came out swinging with a series of punches right away, but Rousey clinched and took her down. Rousey wound up in side control, then stood up. She ate a pair of upkicks and returned to side control. Rousey spun into an armbar and Tate was in all sorts of trouble, but she somehow held on and refused to tap out. Tate scrambled out and wound up on top. She took Rousey’s back and worked for a rear-naked choke. Rousey defended and stood, only to be taken right back down again. Tate looked for another choke and Rousey escaped. She stood up and kicked at Tate’s legs.
Tate got to her feet and Rousey used a front headlock to take her down. She rolled through and Tate secured a headlock of her own. The fighters stood and Tate landed punches. Rousey used a judo throw to take Tate down into the scarf hold position. She moved to mount and landed punches. Tate gave up her back and Rousey landed punches. She transitioned into another armbar and wrenched back on Tate’s arm. The arm appeared to break at the elbow and finally Tate tapped out. Excellent fight.
Winner: Ronda Rousey by Submission (Armbar) at 4:27 of round one. She improves to 5-0-0 and becomes the new Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion.
Josh Thomson vs “King” K.J. Noons
Thomson snapped Noons’s head back with a jumping switch kick to the face and followed with punches early in round one. He attempted a flying scissor heel hook and then a spinning back kick. Thomson continued to score with front kicks to the body and Noons finally landed a quick one-two. Noons countered a body kick with one to the chest, but Thomson blocked it. Thomson tried to trip Noons, but couldn’t.
Thomson landed a body kick and took Noons down on the second try. Noons tried to wall walk up and did so, but Thomson swept his legs out. He moved to a partial mount with a figure-four around Noons’s legs. Noons tried to stand, but could not. Thomson passed to half-guard and landed a series of short hammerfists as time ticked down. 10-9 Thomson.
Noons briefly took the fight to the mat in round two, but Thomson sprung back to his feet and scored a takedown of his own. Noons rolled to his side and posted an arm to stand up. Thomson pulled him back down and landed short punches to the head and elbows to the body. Noons held on for a standup and got it with two minutes to go.
Noons flurried with punches and landed a nice uppercut. Thomson cut him near the left eye with a counter hook, but Noons remained the aggressor. Thomson tried to catch a kick for a takedown and he managed to get Noons down on his second try. Thomson postured up and landed a nice right hand. Noons looked for a guillotine choke from the bottom. Close round. 10-9 Thomson.
Thomson tripped Noons to the mat in the final round and quickly locked on an arm-triangle choke. Noons held on only because he was able to prevent Thomson from passing to side control. Thomson took partial back control and maintained his grip on the modified arm-triangle. He flattened Noons out, but the action slowed to a crawl. Noons rolled and Thomson wound up in mount.
Thomson landed weak strikes until Noons got himself back to half-guard. Action remains very sparse and the crowd again voiced its displeasure. Noons tried to stand up on two occasions, but Thomson held on and prevented him from going anywhere. Noons sat up and Thomson blasted him with a right hook and an elbow. He landed a knee to the body just before the bell. 10-9 Thomson.
Winner: Josh Thomson by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 19-4-0, 1 NC.
Kazuo “The Hitman” Misaki vs Paul “Semtex” Daley
Daley kept his distance early on and landed single leg kicks while circling to his right. He looked to establish his jab, but came up short. Misaki caught a kick and took Daley down against the fence. Daley used the cage to battle back to his feet, but Misaki tagged him with a flurry to the head and body and a knee.
Daley landed a right hook that caused Misaki’s left eye to swell up, but Misaki stunned him with a one-two and follow-up punches. Misaki remained the aggressor, but Daley recovered. A right hook to the body scored for Misaki and Daley scored a surprise takedown. He landed punches from the top until Misaki swept before the bell. Close round. 10-9 Misaki.
Misaki scored with a hard left hook in the second round and Daley tried for another takedown. Misaki defended and landed two punches in succession. He began to find a home for his jab and backed Daley up, but Daley scored a takedown into Misaki’s guard. Daley landed a handful of short punches as Misaki held on to defend.
The crowd booed the lack of action until Daley stood up. He avoided upkicks and took Misaki’s back. Misaki swept and wound up on top in Daley’s guard. The fighters exchanged looping hooks in the final ten seconds, but neither landed cleanly. Close round. 10-9 Daley by a slim margin.
An exchange of leg kicks opened the final round and Daley looked to establish his jab. Misaki just missed with a fastball overhand right. Daley countered a right hand with a takedown. He landed a short elbow that opened a nasty cut above Misaki’s right eye. Time was called for the doctor to check the cut. It was deep, but the fight was allowed to continue. Misaki landed a left hook and Daley answered with one of his own.
The fighters traded punches and Misaki threw a flying kick to the face. Daley missed with a right hook and Misaki replied with a one-two that landed. He followed with a body kick and Daley circled away. Daley remained on the defensive and Misaki walked him down with punches. Daley scored a very brief takedown and Misaki stood up into a clinch. Daley backed away and jabbed. Misaki avoided a takedown and threw a spinning back kick. Another close round. 10-9 Misaki.
Winner: Kazuo Misaki by Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. He improves to 25-11-2, 1 NC.
Lumumba “Heavy Hands” Sayers vs Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith
Sayers scored an early takedown against the cage, but he stood up soon after and allowed Smith to follow. Smith attempted a standing guillotine choke, but Sayers picked him up over his head and slammed him down backwards. Smith released the choke and Sayers punched from side control before locking on a guillotine of his own. He pulled half-guard with it and Smith was forced to submit.
Winner: Lumumba Sayers by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:34 of round one. He improves to 6-2-0.
Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza vs Bristol Marunde
Souza landed a right hook early on and Marunde answered with a lunging punch in return. Punches were exchanged and Souza landed two front kicks. He clinched and took Marunde down, then transitioned straight to back control. Souza landed a headbutt to the shoulder and was warned. He landed strikes to the back of the head and was warned a second time.
Referee Keith Peterson stood the fighters up and Souza dropped Marunde with a short counter hook. He pounced and tried to set up a submission on the ground. Marunde scrambled up, but Souza dragged him back down and looked for a rear-naked choke. Marunde stood again and the relatively uneventful round ended in a clinch. 10-9 Souza.
Souza hurt Marunde with punches and a head kick in the second round, then followed with a spinning back kick that landed. He took Marunde down and moved to back control, but Marunde scrambled up. Both fighters were very tentative, but Souza managed to land a one-two and a front kick. Marunde tried to answer back with an uppercut and escaped a clinch.
Souza jabbed and Marunde landed a nice leg kick. Souza attempted a flying switch kick and fired off a variety of punches and wild kicks. Marunde closed the distance and looked to land a one-two in the final 20 seconds, but Souza took him down and attempted a heel hook just before the bell. 10-9 Souza.
Souza took Marunde down right away in the final round and worked from the top in half-guard. Marunde tried to stand up and Souza took his back. Marunde did manage to get to his feet, but only for a split second before Souza dragged him down and tried to secure a rear-naked choke. Marunde rolled over and Souza locked on an arm-triangle choke for the quick tap.
Winner: Ronaldo Souza by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 2:43 of round three. He improves to 15-3-0, 1 NC.
(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)