(Photo: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE)
Ronda Rousey is an incredible fighter. When everyone in the world, including high level opponents, know exactly what you're going to be attempting to do, and they can't stop it? That says something about just how good you are at your game. Sarah Kaufman knew that Rousey's game revolved around getting her in the clinch, tripping her and locking in the armbar, but she couldn't do anything to stop it.
The Cyborg fight is obviously the thing you'd most like to see Rousey doing next, but her actual weight is 135 and Cyborg is saying she can't make that weight. So, if Rousey doesn't want to go back up to 145 to fight someone much bigger, then you have to wonder what fights there are for her that allow her to keep building up her profile.
A rematch with Miesha Tate is probably the biggest possible bout for Rousey outside of Cyborg, but even that is just a rematch of a fight that ended with Ronda winning violently.
Let's take a run through tonight's card:
- I kept saying all week that Derek Brunson's stand-up was really, really bad and it proved out. Ronaldo Souza knocked him out with ease. While Jacare's improved striking had a lot to do with that, so did Brunson having his hands down and his chin up in the air.
- Roger Bowling was competitive in losing to Tarec Saffiedine but I think we can officially call an end to him ever being a title contender. Tarec, for his part, looked like his usual self, measuring his strikes well and just controlling the fight.
- Saffiedine had a bit of a bad moment when he asked "Who is with me for title?" following the win only to get no reaction from the well mic'ed Strikeforce crowd.
- Anthony Smith and Lamumba Sayers put on a really weird fight where no one seemed entirely sure of what they were doing. Sayers' takedown attempt got him mounted, later Smith slipped and fell to the mat but then was able to get a triangle choke for the win. Neither of these guys are on the fast track to the big time but Smith was a bit better than I expected.
- Why the hell is Heidi Androl on these broadcasts? She provides no value at all. Her delivery is awkward, she misspeaks far too often (walterweight?!) and is just generally a mess.
- Ovince St. Preux's knockout of T.J. Cook was beautiful. The two men put on a hell of a good first round but gassed a bit, resulting in a much slower second round. Then OSP came out and just crushed Cook with a single punch to end it in the third. He's got time to keep getting better and, as long as they don't rush him with another Mousasi-level fight, could still have a very bright future.
- Miesha Tate may not have my favorite personality in MMA, but she fights in a way that everyone on Earth should be able to appreciate. She was badly hurt in the first round but came out hard in the second. Then, after almost getting stopped in the third round, she managed to lock up an armbar and fight like hell to keep the hold locked in and get the submission. Julie Kedzie fought in a way that she should be incredibly proud of, even in defeat. But Tate had a real superstar moment tonight.
- Adlan Amagov and Keith Berry ended in the best possible way for Berry. He was going to get his head knocked off and probably never would have gotten another Strikeforce fight. Instead, he gets a lame stoppage loss and will, almost certainly, get to come back for another fight.
- Germaine de Randamie has one of those styles where sometimes she just puts her head down and swings like crazy with power punches, it's why I called her Wanderlady Silva on Twitter. Hiroko Yamanaka deserves some credit for being thrown into the cage with a couple killers in her Strikeforce bouts.
- Bobby Green looked okay against Matt Ricehouse who also looked okay. I don't know that there's going to be much more to say about these guys the rest of their careers, but hey...good win for Green.