Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman Bonus Winners and MVP
If the time eventually comes where Zuffa disbands Strikeforce it will be a sad day for fans of mixed martial arts. Not only will we lose the opportunity to watch some great fights without paying nearly $50 for them, we will also lose out on the ability to watch the ladies get in the cage and mix it up.
This past Saturday night had a little bit of everything. There were some slick submissions; sick knockouts and a terrific back and forth fight between former Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate and women’s MMA pioneer Julie Kedzie. The female fighters have made it abundantly clear they deserve a platform to perform on.
Unfortunately for Strikeforce fighters they don’t give out any bonuses like the UFC does. Former Strikeforce owner Scott Coker was questioned why they do not hand out any bonuses and he simply stated they work on a different business model than the UFC does. This needs to change somehow and soon. There are a lot of deserving fighters who could use an influx of cash and while no one is expecting the bonuses the UFC hands out, they could come up with something.
I am going to combine this article and name the MVP and the bonus winners all at the same time. Strikeforce consistently puts on entertaining shows and I truly hope that Zuffa decides to keep the organization around. It not only serves as a home for the women, but there are also some good fighters on their roster who could use a bit more experience before making their way over to the UFC.
The Knockout of the Night bonus goes to light heavyweight Ovince St. Preux for his one punch knockout of T.J. Cook twenty seconds into round three. Cook was out before he even hit the canvas after OSP connected with a vicious left hand. OSP had almost finished him early on in the first round, but Cook battled back, but he was only delaying the inevitable. The crowd certainly enjoyed the ending of this fight and OSP was able to bounce back from his loss to Gegard Mousasi last December.
There is no way anyone can argue with my choice for Submission of the Night. Ronda Rousey came, she saw and she conquered a very tough fighter in former Bantamweight Champion Sarah Kaufman. As soon as the bell rang she stormed across the cage and clinched with Kaufman and immediately took her down. To her credit, Kaufman did a pretty good job of defending the armbar, but she was in the mouth of the lion and it was only a matter of time before Rousey either broke her arm or Kaufman tapped, which she did just 54 seconds into round one.
The Fight of the Night has to go to Tate and Kedzie. Many fans were left scratching their heads at the placement of this bout on the undercard, but at the end of the night did it really matter? These two ladies beat the living hell out of each other. Kedzie had Tate hurt on several occasions and there was a couple of times where I thought she was going to finish the former champion, but Tate being the champion that she is persevered and eventually tapped Kedzie out with an armbar at 3:28 of round 3.
There were some other fighters who were highly entertaining and made a statement with their performances. Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza made his case for a rematch with current champion Luke Rockhold with a first round knockout over Derek Brunson. Known mostly for his submissions, Jacare showed some serious power in his hands. I enjoyed his post-fight interview as did the San Diego crowd. It was nice to hear him answer in English as opposed to answering through his interpreter.
Bobby Green and Matt Ricehouse opened the night up with a gritty fight that saw Green take home a unanimous decision victory. The night wasn’t without controversy as Adian Amagov’s first round TKO win over Keith Berry was ended prematurely in the eyes of many fans. Referee Herb Dean’s call was questioned and there was even talk of Berry trying to appeal the decision. That won’t really get him anywhere, but good luck trying.
As far as my MVP is there really any question as to who deserves the award the most? Is there any mixed martial artist, male or female hotter than Rousey is at this moment? Between her looks, her persona, her fighting ability and the way she takes care of business she is the whole package. Right now in my opinion she is the MVP of MMA. Her call-out of Cyborg in her post-fight interview was great. If that fight happens, it better be in the Octagon! She is deserving of all the accolades and attention she is getting. Gina Carano has been replaced!