When Ronda Rousey was rushed to fighting for the women’s 135-pound crown there was uproar amongst keyboard warriors and media aficionado’s claiming that she hadn’t been tested – Well, after tonight, it’s clear that she has been tested and has passed those tests with flying colors.
Sarah Kaufman, the former ruler of the division was expected to give the former Olympic bronze medallist a run for her money but instead she becomes the fifth girl forced to submit from her infamous armbar in less than a minute.
Top-to-bottom Strikeforce’s offering on their two Showtime platforms delivered with action in hoards setting up future championship fights, brutal one-punch knockouts, deadly submission holds and even a fight of the year candidate.
As I always do, I will put on my matchmakers cap and enter my imaginary bubble where I can mix and match and pray that injuries don’t throw my plans through the paper shredder.
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Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate II
Rousey wasn’t the only female on the card with a great performance, her arch nemesis Miesha Tate also returned to the win column winning a hard-fought battle against Greg Jackson-trained veteran Julie Kedzie that has been dubbed a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender by fans and media alike.
While rushing back to this fight isn’t the way to go in an ideal world it might be the best option right now. Post-fight the 135-pound queen took a page out of her Cesar Gracie training parter Nick Diaz’ book calling out former featherweight champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.
While that is a fight that Sean Shelby, Strikeforce’s matchmaker would be salivating at the thought of making it’s in serious jeopardy. “Cyborg” has taken to twitter with cryptic messages having most believing she may leave the organization if they don’t have a 145-pound division following her departure.
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Not to mention, to put that fight together Santos isn’t even eligible to apply for a license until the early shades of 2013 which would force Rousey, Strikeforce’s hottest property to sit on the sideline for over six months.
Usually when they have a champion without a viable challenger they can scrape around and get a fighter to step up but with Invicta Fighting Championships making a large footprint and nabbing quality fighters in the division like Sara McMann, Marloes Coenen and Shayna Baszler that option is out.
Thus, really the only option at this stage of the game is to set up a fight with woman she stole the title from and bent her arm in directions that human limbs just shouldn’t go.
Sarah Kaufman vs. Amanda Nunes
The word Kaufman continued to use to describe her performance was that she was ashamed of her loss to Rousey. The Victoria, British Columbia resident didn’t get her hand raised but exclaimed that she wants to get back into the cage right away to wash away the shame.
Getting back to the title shot might not come easy for Kaufman as it took almost two years to return to the top of the division after losing it to Marloes Coenen and with such a quick defeat it might be even longer if Rousey continues to carry those ten pounds of championship gold.
Setting her up with Amanda Nunes, a power-puncher with all but one of her victories coming by way of knockout would ultimately deliver an action-packed fight and determine whether Kaufman is ready to begin climbing that ladder again.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Luke Rockhold II
Many, including myself, had “Jacare” winning last time he stepped foot inside the Strikeforce hexagonal cage with divisional king Luke Rockhold and with a sudden 41 second dismantling of Derek Brunson he might have just earned his chance at redemption.
Rockhold and Souza are unquestionably the two top dogs at 185-pounds and both men have been open to this fight so it only makes sense to put it together before years end.
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Nate Marquardt
Tarec Saffiedine got his hand raised tonight against Strikeforce Challenger product Roger Bowling, but it didn’t come easy. Both men exchanged in an all-out war that pleased the Californian’s on hand in the Valley View Events Center but Saffeidine did enough to win all three rounds on each judges’ score card.
Unlike most divisions welterweight does have a few worthy challengers for Nate Marquardt but following this win it’s had to discount Saffiedine as being at the front of the cue with that hard-fought win over his heavy handed foe.
Well, these are the matches that I would put together if I was the puppet master calling all the shots but of course you disagree, tell me how foolish I am below in the comments section.
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