Besides the high-profile Ronda Rousey title defense, women's MMA was the featured attraction on the Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kafuman undercard as well. Two girlfights graced the four-bout prelim program broadcast on Showtime Extreme from San Diego's Valley View Casino Center, including a star-making back-and-forth battle between Miesha Tate and Julie Kedzie in the featured prelim.
Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie
In a wildly entertaining and competitive bout, former women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate made a case for another shot at the strap as she weathered Julie Kedzie's best to score a late-fight submission. See fight highlights
The two bantamweights met in the center with wild punches; Kedzie landed a head kick, Tate shot for a takedown, and the two separated – and that was the first 30 seconds. Tate repeatedly shot for takedowns, but Kedzie was prepared, each time sprawling or spinning into front control, then disengaging. As Tate stood, Kedzie attacked with punches and kicks, and Kedzie – who was wall-and-stalled into a decision loss in her previous Strikeforce outing – also got the better of clinches on the cage, pushing to inside position and kneeing Tate’s thighs.
Early in the second, Kedzie kept Tate at bay with strikes and controlled things on the fence. Tate went for a throw but wound up in a triangle as Kedzie elbowed her in the head and moved to an omoplata. Tate stepped over and punched her way out of the omoplata, shifting the round’s momentum in her favor. She took Kedzie’s back, got a body triangle and punched her way into what appeared to be a deep rear-naked choke. Kedzie spun into her and tried to sweep, eventually pushing back to her feet as Tate transitioned to an armbar attempt. Tate worked for the rest of the round and managed to get Kedzie to the ground against the fence.
Round three started well for Kedzie, as she dropped Tate with a kick and sprawled as Tate went for a takedown. Tate was slow to stand, and Kedzie answered with a body kick and another leg kick that sent “Cupcake” (formerly “Takedown”) to the mat. Kedzie dove in with elbow to the head but wound up in Tate’s guard. Tate waited out the attack, then slapped her legs up in an armbar attempt. Though it took over a minute and Kedzie tried to roll out and then slam her way out, Tate eventually rolled her, isolated one arm, and got the tap at 3:28 of the third round.
"I was definitely rocked in those knockdowns but I maintained consciousness throughout the fight," said Tate. "I felt confident every time she was in my guard and I knew I could finish her on the ground. I was giving that armbar everything I had. I’ve got so much respect for Julie because she’s one of the originals and she’s been in there with the best girls in the world.”
Tate’s latest win lifts her record to 13-3; Kedzie falls to 16-10.
Hear from Tate following her victory
Adlan Amagov vs. Keith Berry
Vicious Russian striker Adlan Amagov racked up another flashy finish, this one in under a minute as he dispatched fellow knockout artist Keith Berry in a short meetup at middleweight. Amagov opened with a whipping spinning back kick to Berry’s body. He followed that up with an inside kick that dropped Berry to his hands and knees, and “Borz” swarmed with punches until referee Herb Dean waved things off. The time of the stoppage, which drew protests from both Berry and the crowd, was 48 seconds.
“I’m very happy with the win," said Amagov. "I could hear him shouting and I knew he was hurt so the referee did the right thing stopping it."
Berry, naturally, had a different take on the call: “Herb was telling me to fight back and I was saying that I was cool and giving the thumbs up. He hyperextended my knee and took my legs out so I was just trying to get up."
The promising Amagov now boasts a 10-2-1 record; Berry slips to 12-10. Watch Amagov's post-fight interview
Hiroko Yamanaka vs. Germaine de Randamie
In only her fifth professional fight, Dutch kickboxer Germaine de Randamaie used boxing and solid takedown defense to outpoint top-ranked Japanese featherweight Hiroko Yamanaka.
Round one was a studied five minutes between the two, as De Randamie calmly took the center of the cage. Yamanaka bounced and circled, but it was Randamie’s jabs that broke through. Two huge rights from De Randamie missed their mark but a third found its home, as did a left hook. Yamanaka finally exploded forward, connected, bulled her opponent to the fence and tried to drag the bout to the ground. The ensuing minute-long struggle for cage control ended with a referee standup and the two traded leg kicks before the round ended.
Yamanaka was more aggressive in the second, though it was still De Randamie who connected more in the standup, most notably with two looping overhand rights. With three minutes left, Yamanaka took things to the cage. Though she was able to drive De Randamaie across the hexagon, she couldn’t get the AKA–trained Muay Thai specialist down and another referee separation sent the action back to the center.
Yamanaka tried to get things to the ground earlier in the third round, but De Randamaie defended that attempt as well as the ensuing two. Back in the center, Yamanaka seemed more willing to exchange, but it was still De Randamaie who got the best of their trades, and a wild striking exchange between the two rangy women drew the crowd’s appreciation. De Randamaie’s offense consisted mostly of a left jab followed by a big right hand, and while it wasn’t tricky, it was effective as she repeatedly as she connected, then sealed the round with two clanging head kicks in the final forty seconds of the fight.
All three judges scored things 30-27 for “The Iron Lady,” whose record improves to 3-2; Yamanaka drops to 12-2 (1 NC). Watch de Randamie's post-fight interview
Bobby Green vs. Matt Ricehouse
Two native Californians opened
the night’s fights with a lightweight tilt as “King” Bobby Green spoiled
Matt Ricehouse’s perfect record with a busy 15-minute stand-up
Green came out fast with feints and got the better of the boxing that
characterized the fight. Both connected soundly early on and
demonstrated pinpoint counterstriking, but it was Green whose fists
found their targets throughout the bout as Ricehouse wearied under the
attack. Green stayed particularly busy with left jabs, nasty body shots
and solid uppercuts, dropping Ricehouse in the first round.
Durable Ricehouse, a BJJ purple belt with wins over ground specialists
including Ryan Couture and Bill Cooper, survived, but seemed stymied by
his opponent’s combinations. He circled and looked for openings, but
Green’s crisp strikes made him pay each time he moved forward. Green
also scored with takedowns in each round, and wore down his opponent
with thudding knees each time Ricehouse tried to retreat to the clinch.
Green won with scores of 30-27 across the board, improving his record to
19-5 and 4-1 in Strikeforce; Ricehouse’s first defeat leaves him at
Watch post-fight interviews with Amagov, de Randamie and Green
Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman Prelim Results
Results for the Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman prelim bouts...