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Couture, Kaufman, Bowling and Healy early winners at Strikeforce

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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Sarah Kaufman beats up on Alexis Davis (Getty)

The early fights at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Tate laid the foundation for a memorable card with three finishes and a bloody decision in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday night.

In a bloody brawl that likely set up the next Strikeforce bantamweight contender, Kaufman took a majority decision, 29-29, 29-28, 29-28 over Alexis Davis. Kaufman dominated the first two rounds with superior striking. She gave Davis a large cut over her eyebrow early in the first round.

Davis' used her ground skills to dominate the third round. She took Kaufman down early and used several elbows to control the round. However, it wasn't enough to win, and Kaufman used her chance to ask for the title shot.

"I'm gonna come. I'm gonna fight. I'm coming for my title," Kaufman said after the bout.

After brawling early in the fight, Roger Bowling played a smarter game and took newcomer Brandon Saling down to to ground and pound him to a TKO. Bowling nearly had the win at the end of the first round, but Saling held on. In the second, Bowling stretched Saling out and punched him in the head until the bout was stopped at 1:15.

The card started with two third-round finishes. Ryan Couture took a big step in his budding MMA career with a TKO of Conor Heun. In the third round, he took Heun's back and ground and pounded until the fight was stopped at 2:52. Pat Healy used his excellent position to choke out Caros Fodor with an arm triangle at 3:35 in the third.

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