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Rousey vs. Tate: Arm Bar on Miesha Tate Makes Rowdy Ronda Deserving Champion

BEIJING - AUGUST 13:  Bronze medalist Ronda Rousey of the USA stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's 70 kg judo competition at the University of Science and Technology Gymnasium during Day 5 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 13, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterDecember 22, 2016

Ronda Rousey silenced her legions of doubters in the world of MMA with a rousing victory over Miesha Tate to secure the Strikeforce women's bantamweight title on Saturday.

True, "Rowdy" Ronda came into the fight as the heavy favorite to take the belt from Tate, who'd retrieved it from Marloes Coenen in July of 2011. Rousey had been undefeated in four previous professional bouts, none of which lasted longer than 49 seconds.

However, the brevity of those bouts, combined with this being Rousey's debut as a bantamweight, left room for folks to question whether she could handle herself against a top-quality combatant, someone capable of making Rousey "sing for her supper" for once.

It only took Rousey 4:27—or 2:09 longer than she'd spent in the arena during her four previous fights combined—to put those concerns to rest. Rousey was energetic, intense and intimidating from the get-go, though Tate did her best to get Rousey on her heels with some solid strikes at the start.

Still, Tate's sturdy standup game wasn't enough to prevent Rousey from scoring takedowns, the second of which resulted in the arm bar that dislocated Tate's elbow.

As nauseating as Tate's injury was, the real story here lies with Rousey's use of her spectacular judo skills, including the throw that got Tate to the mat a second time. Rousey will likely face Sarah Kaufman in her first title defense after Kaufman topped Alexis Davis in Saturday's undercard.

Until then, Rousey can enjoy her newly validated Strikeforce stardom, with a rather gruesome highlight to convince those few remaining haters that she, indeed, is a force to be reckoned with all her own.

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