(Miesha Tate on right)
The Arnolds Sports Festival weekend gets a kick March 3rd as Strikeforce: Tatevs. Rousy takes place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH. This show may have lost the HW Grand Prixfinals due to Cormier’s lingering hand injury however, the event stillhighlights Strikeforce’s remaining stable of fighters with past champions andsolid up-and-comers.
Holding a main event featuring a women’s title fight isn’t anything new forStrikeforce but due to the rumors last year regarding the continuation of thepromotion as a whole and the women’s divisions in particular it is reassuringto see one headline on such an important weekend. Defending women’s bantamweight championMiesha Tate won the title in her last fight, an arm-triangle choke of MarloesCoenen last July. That fight was Tate’ssixth win in a row bringing her total career record to 12-2. In wrestling Tate took silver at the 2008world championships but her opponent Ronda Rousy took bronze at the 2008Olympics in judo and won gold at the Pan American Games in 2007. In MMA Rousy is much less experienced at 4-0but what is really striking is all four of those fights ended under a minute withher armbar of Charmaine Tweet at 0:49 being the longest fight of Rousy’scareer. No matter how you look at itthis is a battle of two of the top women who both have very strong grapplingbackgrounds.
In the co-main event former EliteXC 160-pound champion and Strikeforcewelterweight title contender KJ Noons takes on former Strikeforce lightweightchampion Josh Thomson. Since losing thetitle to Gilbert Melendez in December 2009 Thomson picked up wins over PatHealy and Gesias Cavalcante but in his most recent fight lost a unanimousdecision to Tatsuya Kawajiri just over a year ago. Noons since losing a shot at the welterweighttitle against Nick Diaz lost to Jorge Masvidal and most recently defeated BillyEvangelista.
Prelims on Showtime Extreme:
WW: RogerBowling vs. Brandon Saling
LW: Ryan Couture vs. Conor Heun
LW: Caros Fodor vs. Pat Healy
WBW: Sarah Kaufman vs. Alexis Davis
Main card on Showtime:
MW: ScottSmith vs. Lumumba Sayers
MW: Ronaldo Souza vs. Bristol Marunde
WW: Paul Daley vs. Kazuo Misaki
LW: K.J. Noons vs. Josh Thomson
WBW title: Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey