Ronda Rousey will defend her 135 lb Strikeforce Title this weekend against the challenger Sarah Kaufman and here at Bloody Elbow we will be doing a full breakdown and preview of the entire card. In the past the main card of a Strikeforce event is stacked with names and the under card was stocked full of local filler designed to put butts in seats and never intended to be aired, things have changed since Zuffa has taken over Strikeforce.
The preliminary card now features fights with interesting up and comers and even a former champion. So here is the full undercard for Strikeforce: Rousey vs Kaufman:
Miesha Tate (12-3) vs. Julie Kedzie (16-10)
Coming off being the defending champion in one of the biggest Women's MMA fights ever Miesha Tate has been banished to the under card, hardly fair but this is the way of WMMA. Both Tate and Julie Kedzie are veterans of the women's fighting scene, and while Tate has been in higher profile fights Kedzie has plenty of experience against high level fighters.
Kedzie is primarily a striker, coming from a kickboxing and Taekwondo background. She comes in with a high boxing guard and looks to attack primarily with her hands first. Tate is also primarily a boxer on the feet, but Kedzie's background in striking gives her a slight advantage on the feet in terms of technique and experience.
In terms of grappling Tate enjoys a healthy advantage. While Kedzie is trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Greg Jackson's gym, seldom are fighters from that gym impressive from off their backs. Tate is a very effective wrestler once on top is an aggressive grappler who works to improve her position. Considering how clinch heavy Kedzie's fights tend to be it seems very likely Tate will have plenty of chances to get this fight to the ground. Once there Tate will likely catch a dominant position and get to work towards a submission.
My Prediction: Miesha Tate by Submission, Round 3.
Bobby "King" Green (18-5) vs Matt Ricehouse (6-0)
Two 25-year-old lightweights clashing here, but there is a clear difference in their experience. Green is both a veteran of Strikeforce cards but also held titles in two different weight classes in the King of the Cage promotion. Ricehouse is still just cutting his teeth in MMA, but has already amassed a 4-0 record in Strikeforce.
Green is a strong wrestler both in the clinch and on the ground, and while his grappling is more power than clean technique it is extremely effective. His struggles have come against fighters that can match his grappling either with their own wrestling or against more technical grapplers. While Ricehouse's base is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he is not a special grappler. His major wins have come against other Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters in matches where he kept the fight standing. While that strategy has worked in the past for Ricehouse, his standup is far too tentative and for his to take two out of three rounds against Green. While not a world class striker, Green has effective and powerful boxing and should be able to rough Ricehouse up on the feet.
This fight is going to be dictated by Green and his wrestling, and while Ricehouse moves a lot of on the feet Green will wear him down.
My Prediction: Bobby Green by TKO, Round 3.
Adlan Amagov (9-2) vs Keith "KO Kid" Berry (11-9)
This fight has action written all over it. Adlan Amagov is a dynamic striker, who MMA fans might remember as being the spinning hook kick guy circa 2010. He got a step up in competition in his last fight and lost to MMA veteran Robbie Lawler, so he is back on the undercard attempting to work his way back up the Middleweight ladder. Keith Berry has been fighting MMA since he was sixteen years old and eight years later he already has a total number of fights greater than many thirty year olds.
Amagov is known for his striking offense, and for good reason. He has diverse armada of kicks, powerful hands and is very crafty in the clinch with an array of judo based trips and throws. Berry on the other hand is a brawler, who bowls forward behind a barrage of punches. He has very powerful punches but Berry has bad defensive habits and leaves himself open to counters. On the ground Berry has aggressive off his back also, throwing up triangles and armbars but often he doesn't have the technical ability to finish them. Amgaov is a good controlling grappler, but nothing special when it comes to submission offense.
While Berry has the literal puncher's chance, this fight is most likely going to take place at kicking range which favors Amagov. If Berry does manage to get inside, Amagov will take him down and work some top game. While a knock out for either fighter is very possible, Amagov likely plays it safe and gets the win by making this as technical a match as possible.
My Prediction: Adlan Amagov by Decision.
Hiroko Yamanaka (12-1) vs Germaine de Randamie (2-2)
To put it simply Germaine de Randamie is a striker. Hailing for the Netherlands, her background is in Muay Thai and in classic Dutch fashion she has good boxing and strong low kicks. She has a long and lean build and uses her length very well when she punches. However she has very little ground game to speak of and that will be a problem against Hiroko Yamanaka.
Yamanaka is a similar build and height to de Randamie, but she prefers fights to take place in the clinch or on the ground. I doubt there is much de Ranamie can do to prevent this fight from turning into a grappling affair short of scoring a one punch KO, which she has never shown the ability to do. This fight isn't a total was however, as Yamanaka's commitment to the sport has been brought into question. She started training and competing in the sport as supplement to her night job of being a dominatrix, but it hasn't hampered her career thus far.
I fully expect this to be an ugly fight that is mostly a clinch battle where Yamanaka is fighting for a takedown. Once on the mat I think a late submission is possible, but more likely is that Yamanaka grinds out a win.
My Prediction: Hiroko Yamanaka by Decision.