The Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship was up for grabs tonight at Strikeforce: “Rousey vs Kaufman” from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. Champ “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey defended her belt against former titleholder Sarah Kaufman in the main event.
Also tonight, former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza battled Derek Brunson. Miesha “Cupcake” Tate looked for a return to title contention when she faced Julie “Fireball” Kedzie on the preliminary card. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for tonight’s Strikeforce event.
Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey vs Sarah Kaufman
Rousey punched her way into an early clinch and took Kaufman down on her second try. She quickly transitioned to an armbar attempt, but Kaufman defended well. Rousey continued to adjust her position and eventually broke Kaufman’s grip. She pulled back on Kaufman’s right arm and Kaufman immediately tapped out.
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.
Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza vs Derek Brunson
Brunson opened the fight with head kick attempts and Souza answered with a one-two. As Brunson pushed forward with punches, Souza dropped him with a counter right hook. Two more punches sent Brunson to his back and Souza put him out with a final barrage on the ground. Impressive win for Souza.
Winner: Ronaldo Souza by KO (Punches) at 0:41 of round one. He improves to 16-3-0, 1 NC.
Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine vs “Relentless” Roger Bowling
Bowling opened the fight with a right-left combo to the body and head. He continued to throw more punches and Saffiedine answered with a one-two and a leg kick. Bowling continued to target the body with his punches and Saffiedine landed another one-two. Both fighters scored with leg kicks and Saffiedine landed a knee from a Thai clinch. Bowling landed left hands and a solid leg kick.
Saffiedine continued to try to secure Muay Thai clinches for knees, but Bowling broke away and landed a leg kick. Saffiedine managed to land two knees and Bowling countered with uppercuts. Bowling escaped the clinch with a right hand and he pushed forward with more punches. The fighters traded hooks and both landed kicks before the bell. Close first round. 10-9 Bowling.
Bowling sent Saffiedine off-balance with a body shot to begin round two and time was called after he was poked in the eye. The fight continued with an exchange of power punches and Bowling landed kicks to the leg and body. A right hook scored for Bowling, but Saffiedine backed him up with a counter left. Leg kicks landed for both fighters and Bowling just missed with a combination.
Saffiedine put together a nice two-punch combo and a leg kick. He clinched and tried to take Bowling down, but Bowling defended and the fighters got back to their feet. Bowling landed a left hook and Saffiedine backed away. An exchange of hooks followed and Saffiedine narrowly missed with a head kick. Both fighters landed punches before the bell. Another very close round. 10-9 Bowling, barely.
Bowling landed a kick to the upper body and a combination in the second round. Saffiedine countered with a knee in close and a nice leg kick. Bowling targeted the body with a left hook and Saffiedine landed another knee. Bowling slowed down and Saffiedine kicked at his leg. Bowling tried for a takedown, but Saffiedine stuffed it and stayed on his feet.
The fighters battled in the clinch and both landed short knees. They broke away with an exchange of punches and continued to tee off with big shots. Saffiedine stuffed a takedown and took Bowling’s back. He landed punches and tried to set up a rear-naked choke. He nearly got it before the bell, but time expired. 10-9 Saffiedine.
Winner: Tarec Saffiedine by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 13-3-0.
Anthony “Lionheart” Smith vs Lumumba “Heavy Hands” Sayers
Both fighters missed with wild right hands early on and Sayers took Smith’s back. He dragged him down, but Smith scrambled and took full mount. Smith landed punches and elbows from the top that cut Sayers on the side of the head. Sayers scrambled and escaped out the back, then avoided a guillotine choke and took Smith’s back.
Smith stood and rolled forward with a Kimura attempt. The fighters stood and Smith landed a left hook. He followed with a body kick and a left hook, then dropped Sayers to a knee with a leg kick. Sayers knocked Smith down and ate an upkick. Smith locked on a triangle choke from the bottom and Sayers quickly tapped out.
Winner: Anthony Smith by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 3:52 of round one. He improves to 17-8-0.
Ovince St. Preux vs T.J. Cook
St. Preux opened the fight with a head kick and Cook quickly answered with a left hook to the body. Cook scored with a hard leg kick and St. Preux fired off another head kick that partially landed. The fighters traded punches and clinched against the cage. Cook circled out and landed a left, but St. Preux dropped him with counterpunches. The fight was nearly stopped as St. Preux dove in with strikes on the ground.
Cook recovered and stood up, then unloaded with a big flurry of his own. More hard punches were exchanged and Cook seemed to get the better of it. St. Preux threw a body kick and sent Cook off-balance with a left hook. St. Preux took Cook down and worked for a Kimura. Cook escaped the hold and landed punches as he stood up. Good opening round. 10-9 St. Preux.
The second round began cautiously until St. Preux threw a kick to the body. He added another one soon after, but the pace of the fight slowed way down. St. Preux grazed with a head kick and Cook answered with an uppercut. Cook landed a right hook and St. Preux replied with a straight right in return. Time was called after Cook was kicked in the groin.
After the restart, St. Preux landed a body kick and took Cook down near the cage. He landed in side control and tried for a North-South Choke and then an arm-triangle choke. Cook defended, but St. Preux moved to mount and landed punches. A bloodied Cook gave up his back in the final seconds. 10-9 St. Preux.
The fighters circled early in round three and St. Preux fired off a vicious left hook that sent an unconscious Cook crashing to the canvas. The bout was waved off, giving St. Preux a big knockout win.
Winner: Ovince St. Preux by KO (Punch) at 0:20 of round three. He improves to 12-5-0.
(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)