Showing that Invicta FC haven’t (yet) cornered the market on the women’s divisions Strikeforce return Saturday with the women’s bantamweight title on the line between defending champion Ronda Rousey and former champion Sarah Kaufman. This event, the fifth Strikeforce show of the year, takes place August 18th at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego with prelims broadcast on Showtime Extreme, the main card on Showtime.
2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist (judo) Rousey exploded onto the MMA scene just last March and has gone 5-0 since, winning all of her fights by armbar in the first round. Rousey won the title in March when she defeated Miesha Tate in Rousey’s first fight to go over one minute as she secured the submission at 4:27 of the first round. Now Rousey makes her first title defense against the much more experienced former champion whose only loss in her sixteen MMA fights was to Marloes Coenen for the title back in April 2011. Since losing the title Kaufman picked up wins over Megumi Yabushita, Liz Carmouche, and Alexis Davis, all in the third round. Kaufman is known as a much more patient fighter with her last win that ended in the first round being almost six years ago. Look for Kaufman to definitely have the striking edge and to know her ground game but to be on the defense early on as Rousey tries to steamroll another opponent with the fight getting more interesting if it doesn’t end in the first.
In a co-main event former Strikeforce and ADCC Worlds champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza returns to face Derek Brunson. Souza climbed the Strikeforce ranks fast with his third fight being for the3 then-vacant tile, a fight he won b y unanimous decision over Tim Kennedy. “Jacare” defended the title once against Robbie Lawler but lost it to current champion Luke Rockhold in September, since then defeating Bristol Marunde by arm-triangle choke in March. While Souza comes from a BJJ background Brunson comes from wrestling before entering MMA straight out of college. Brunson was undefeated with nine wins until the recent ShoFight pay-per-view in June where he suffered a split decision loss to Kendall Grove. Despite his impressive record and training out of Jackson’s MMA this is Brunson’s biggest fight to date as he previous Strikeforce wins were against Jeremy Hamilton, Lumumba Sayers, and Nate James.
Also on the main card Tarec Saffiedine takes on Roger Bowling in a battle of on-the-cusp welterweights, Lumumba Sayers takes on the much more experienced Anthony Smith, and Ovince St. Preux tries to rebuild his undefeated streak as he fights T.J. Cook.
On the undercard former women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate faces Julie Kedzie. Kedzie is a very familiar face to fans of the women’s divisions but tends to be known as a “gatekeeper” with her EliteXC debut being a loss to Gina Carano being her biggest fight to date. Kedzie defeated Kaitlin young in a rematch that happened at Jackson’s MMA Series but followed it up with a loss to Alexis Davis for her Strikeforce debut over a year ago. Tate’s six-win streak came to an end in her most recent fight when she lost the Strikeforce title to Rousey in March bringing Tate’s MMA record to 12-3.
Prelims (Showtime Extreme):
BW: Hiroko Yamanaka vs.Germaine de Randamie
MW: Adlan Amagov vs.Keith Berry
LW: Bobby Green vs.Matt Ricehouse
BW: Miesha Tate vs.Julie Kedzie
Main card (Showtime):
LHW: Ovince St. Preux vs.T.J. Cook
LMW: Lumumba Sayers vs.Anthony Smith
WW: Tarec Saffiedine vs.Roger Bowling
MW: Ronaldo Souza vs.Derek Brunson
WBW title: Ronda Rousey vs.Sarah Kaufman