The war of words between two of Strikeforce’s top ladies has finally ended, and it turns out that the less experienced fighter was able to back up her trash talk in the cage.  The women’s bantamweight championship was on the line in the main event of Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey, and the ladies did not disappoint in front of the crowd at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and the fans watching live on Showtime.

Rousey claims another victim via armbar to become champ

The headlining fight of the night lasted just under four and a half minutes, but that was an eternity compared to any of Rousey’s previous outings, none of which went beyond 50 seconds. However, the extra cage time didn’t deter the Olympic medalist judoka from claiming yet another victim via armbar.  Rousey coaxed a tapout from defending Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate to capture the title.

Tate came out swinging for the fences in the opening seconds of the first round, but was taken down when Rousey grabbed her as she came forward.  The two scrambled, with Rousey eventually snagging Tate’s arm and applying pressure.  Although the hold appeared to dislocate Tate’s elbow, the champion did not submit, instead escaping and taking Rousey’s back.

The two eventually returned to their feet.  After some exchanges, Rousey landed a huge hip-toss takedown, transitioned to mount and then took Tate’s back, pounding away on Tate.  Rousey then transitioned to another armbar attempt and continued to adjust the hold until Tate was forced to tap.  The end came at 4:27 of the first stanza.

In the post-fight interview, Rousey welcomed the opportunity to defend her title against former champion Sarah Kaufman.

Thomson decisions Noons, admits afterwards that his performance ‘sucked’

In a battle of top lightweight contenders, Josh Thomson took scores of 29-28 from all three judges for a unanimous decision verdict over K.J. Noons.

Thomson started the fight off looking to land kicks against Noons.  Several connected, including a front kick to the chin of Noons. Eventually, Thomson took down Noons, but once on the mat, Thomson struggled to keep Noons down and was not able to mount much offense from top position.

The second frame was much of the same, with Thomson scoring a couple of takedowns, but doing little on the mat beyond holding Noons down.

The third stanza saw Thomson go for an arm-triangle choke, but Noons toughed it out.  Other than the one submission attempt, Thomson stuck to the conservative game plan once again, keeping Noons down but doing little damage.

In the post-fight interview, Thomson made clear his own distaste for his performance and vowed to return to his old ways of training, even if it puts him at a higher risk for injury.

Kazuo Misaki edges Paul Daley

It’s rare that a fight featuring Paul Daley finds Daley as the one seeking takedowns, but that was the case when “Semtex” squared off with Kazuo Misaki, who was making his welterweight debut after previously competing at middleweight.

The two felt each other out in the early moments of round one, before Misaki scored a takedown.  The Japanese fighter couldn’t do anything with it, however.  Once back on their feet, Misaki started getting the better of the striking exchanges.  Daley scored late with a takedown, but was reversed after trying to throw a few bombs while standing over Misaki.

Round two once again saw Misaki take the upper hand in the striking department. Daley scored a takedown, and even took Misaki’s back, but Misaki was able to reverse.

The most damage caused by either fighter came in the third frame.  Daley ducked under for a takedown after an early striking exchange.  Once on the ground, Misaki was bleeding profusely from a gash opened up over his eye.  After a short pause for the ringside physician to examine the cut, action resumed with Misaki pursuing Daley, who attempted takedowns with little success.

In the end, Misaki did just enough to convince two judges of his superiority, while the third official saw the fight in Daley’s favor.

Lumumba Sayers, ‘Jacare’ win by submission in middleweight bouts

The main card opened with two middleweight bouts that ended in submission finishes.

Lumumba Sayers might have been at a disadvantage when it came to experience against Scott Smith, but that didn’t stop him from making quick work of the UFC veteran.

Sayers took Smith down early and transitioned to his back before letting him up.  He then lifted Smith up and over his shoulder, slamming him to the mat. Smith tried to sink in a guillotine choke, but Sayers avoided it and reversed positions, locking in a guillotine choke of his own that forced Smith to tap at 1:34 of the first round.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza displayed improved striking for two-plus rounds against Bristol Marunde.  In the third frame, Souza dragged Marunde to the mat, took his back and moved into an arm-triangle choke for the submission win.  The finish came at the 2:43 mark of round three.

Preliminary Card Summary

Prior to the main card broadcast on Showtime, four preliminary card bouts aired on Showtime Extreme.

Former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman likely secured a shot at the title with a majority decision victory over Alexis Davis in an entertaining brawl.

In a clash of welterweights hailing from Ohio, Roger Bowling pinned Brandon Saling’s arms in a crucifix position and pounded away until the referee called a halt to the action at 1:15 of the second stanza.

Lightweight Pat Healy ended Caros Fodor’s perfect streak under the Strikeforce banner, coaxing a tapout in the third round by way of an arm-triangle choke.

In the first fight of the evening’s broadcast, Ryan Couture took the back of Conor Heun in the third round and rained down punches until the referee had seen enough, bringing an end to the fight via TKO at 2:52.

Full Results

Ronda Rousey def. Miesha Tate by submission (armbar). Round 1, 4:27
Josh Thomson def. K.J. Noons by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Kazuo Misaki def. Paul Daley by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Lumumba Sayers def. Scott Smith by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 1:34
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza def. Bristol Marunde by submission (arm-triangle choke). Round 3, 2:43
Sarah Kaufman def. Alexis Davis by majority decision (29-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Roger Bowling def. Brandon Saling by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 1:15
Pat Healy def. Caros Fodor by submission (arm-triangle choke). Round 3, 3:35
Ryan Couture def. Conor Heun by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 2:52

Photo: Miesha Tate (L) and Ronda Rousey staredown at the Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey weigh-ins (MMA Junkie)

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