Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey needed just 54 seconds in order to successfully defend her title tonight in the main event of Strikeforce: “Rousey vs Kaufman” in San Diego, California. Rousey submitted former champ Sarah Kaufman with a first-round armbar.
In other action on tonight’s card, Miesha “Cupcake” Tate rallied to score a third-round submission victory over veteran Julie “Fireball” Kedzie in an enthralling back-and-forth battle. Tate now has eyes on securing a rematch with Rousey for the judoka’s women’s bantamweight title in the near future.
Rousey (6-0-0) wasted no time in jabbing her way into a clinch in the opening seconds and she was able to take Kaufman (15-2-0) down to the mat on her second try. From there, she immediately transitioned to an armbar attempt and Kaufman did well to defend. Rousey continued to adjust her positioning from the bottom until she was eventually able to break Kaufman’s grip and the Canadian striker was forced to tap out as her right arm was bent backwards.
The quick and impressive performance solidifies Rousey’s spot as the top female fighter in the sport today, but many challengers remain for the 25-year-old in the bantamweight division. Rousey’s attention has turned to former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, whom she called out after the fight. Santos remains suspended until December due to a positive test for steroids and has stated that she cannot make 135 pounds.
Winner: Ronda Rousey by Submission (Armbar) at 0:54 of round one. She improves to 6-0-0 and remains the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion.
Battling through adversity, Tate (13-3-0) recovered from a head-kick knockdown to submit Kedzie (16-11-0) with a third-round armbar in what was unquestionably the Fight of the Night. The opening round was all Kedzie, as the veteran battered the former champion with head kicks, punches and knees. Tate struggled to land anything and Kedzie dropped her with a side kick late in the round. Tate countered with a triangle choke attempt, but time expired soon after.
Round two was much better for Tate and she was able to take the fight to the mat early on. Kedzie attempted a triangle choke of her own, but Tate fought free and took Kedzie’s back. She first worked for a rear-naked choke and later passed to mount. Kedzie stood to escape a guillotine choke and Tate took her down to a knee before the bell.
In the final round, Kedzie landed hard leg kicks in the opening minute and floored Tate with a vicious head kick. Tate recovered on the ground and methodically worked for an armbar until she was finally able to elicit the tap in the latter half of the round. Both fighters put on strong performances, but it is Tate who may find herself competing for the title once again in 2013.
Winner: Miesha Tate by Submission (Armbar) at 3:28 of round three. She improves to 13-3-0.
In the first of three women’s bouts on tonight’s card, Muay Thai star Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randamie (3-2-0) outstruck Japanese standout Hiroko “Cat’s Eye” Yamanaka (12-2-0, 1 ND) through three rounds to earn a clear-cut Unanimous Decision win. Yamanaka proved to be much tougher on the feet than many had anticipated and she displayed a solid chin against the hard right hooks thrown by de Randamie. The Dutch striker was able to land effective combinations and prevented Yamanaka from taking her down, however, and cruised to the victory after three rounds.
Winner: Germaine de Randamie by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. She improves to 3-2-0.