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Ronda Rousey Submits Miesha Tate to Win Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Title
On Saturday, March 3, Ronda Rousey submitted Miesha Tate via arm bar to win the Strikeforce women's bantamweight title. Rousey moves to 5-0 in her career, with all of her victories coming by submission.
Rousey entered the match as the strong favorite to win the title, but she had quite a few doubters in the MMA community. This was her first attempt at bantamweight, and none of her previous professional fights had lasted longer than 49 seconds. No one really knew how good Rousey was until this fight.
Judging from the main event introductions, it seemed as though Tate was at a disadvantage from the start. When the two fighters faced each other just before the first round started, there was something on Tate's face that few people have seen before: intimidation. That doesn't mean she was afraid of Rousey, but there was definitely something different about Tate for this fight. Meanwhile, Rousey was intense and focused. She could barely contain herself as both fighters went through introductions. Clearly, Rousey was ready for war.
Yet it was Tate who pressed the action early. When the bell rang, she charged at Rousey and landed some power strikes, which seemed to catch the challenger off-guard. Not wanting to engage Tate standing up, Rousey secured a takedown and immediately transitioned into an arm bar. Tate freed herself and got back to her feet. She immediately started landing some punches on her opponent, but Rousey managed to get Tate to the ground again with a fantastic judo throw.
This time the challenger got the submission right. She grabbed onto Tate's left arm and straightened it out. When Tate refused to submit, Rousey dislocated the champion's elbow. At this point, referee Mark Matheny could have stepped in to stop the fight, much like Herb Dean did a few years ago in the Frank Mir - Tim Sylvia fight. Instead, Matheny let the match go on, and Rousey kept the hold until Tate finally submitted at 4:27 of the first round.
Overall, it was an exciting fight that proved worthy of main event status. Tate gave Rousey all she could handle, but she was unable to deal with the challenger's world-class judo skills. Rousey deserves credit for implementing her game plan and withstanding Tate's vicious striking to earn the victory.
Rousey will likely defend her title against Sarah Kaufman, who beat Alexis Davis on the night's undercard. With both women proving their mettle in Columbus, there is little doubt that the women's bantamweight division is in good hands.
Derek Ciapala is a Yahoo! featured contributor for MMA. He was cageside in Columbus, Ohio for Strikeforce: Tate vs Rousey. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala.
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