Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman: 5 Reasons You Can't Miss This Event
Photo by Esther Lin
Strikeforce is back in action this Saturday night with their biggest star set to step into the cage once more. Ronda Rousey will be defending her bantamweight championship for the first time since winning it earlier this year.
Challenging Rousey will be former women's champ, Sarah Kaufman. The Canadian will be Rousey's toughest test to date and poses a number of stylistic issues for the champion to overcome.
Also on the card is former Strikeforce Middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, top prospects Tarec Saffiedine and Brian Bowling, and former women's champion Miesha Tate among others.
Yet despite a card that's full of stars, it's received very little attention outside of anything to do with Rousey. It's obvious she's Strikeforce's biggest star at the moment but MMA fans have plenty of other reasons to tune in Saturday night to catch some great fights.
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The arm-bar machine known as Ronda Rousey will step back into the cage in the main event on Saturday night. She's the biggest star in Strikeforce and arguably one of the biggest stars in all of MMA at the moment.
Rousey defeated the very talented Miesha Tate despite never fighting at 135-pounds and made it look relatively easy in the process. Tate was able to secure Rousey's back during the fight but Rousey was able to survive and add another arm to her collection.
Some fans have grown tired of the Rousey-parade in recent months which actually adds to her draw factor. She's become a sort of polarizing figure for MMA fans which is good news for Strikeforce because whether you like her or hate her, you're going to tune in and watch.
Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza
Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza is without question one of the top five BJJ grapplers alive today. He may also be one of the best of all time. That should alone be enough reason for fans to tune in.
Souza is a former Strikeforce Middleweight champion and could very well see a rematch with current champion Luke Rockhold if he can get past Derek Brunson. Fans are likely predicting an easy win for Jacare but they may be in for a little surprise when Brunson makes this a fight.
Jacare always puts on an entertaining fight and given his submission prowess, fans know they could witness some jiu-jitsu magic at any given moment during one of his fights.
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Roger Bowling
In a bout that could feature a future title challenger at 170 pounds, Tarec Saffiedine takes on Roger Bowling. Both men love to strike which should lead to an entertaining battle on the feet.
Saffiedine was on the cusp of a welterweight title shot after winning three fights in a row but ultimately lost to Tyron Woodley. Since the loss to Woodley, the Belgium kickboxer has won two-straight over Scott Smith and Tyler Stinson.
Bowling has also won two-straight bouts with both coming via TKO. His fight against Jerron Peoples is particularly interesting given that Bowling finished the overweight fighter (Peoples came into the fight at 181 pounds) in under a minute. Bowling was last seen taking out fan favourite (SARCASM) Brandon Saling in March.
A win for either man would be three in a row under the Strikeforce banner and likely set them up for a future title shot or title eliminator bout.
Before Ronda Rousey defends her title, the woman she beat in March will step into the cage when Miesha Tate faces the tough Julie Kedzie.
Tate has been a big name in WMMA for a long time now but has been forced to the prelims for this card. She's a top notch wrestler who works out with the guys from Alpha Male and has defeated a number of top fighters like Marloes Coenen, Zoila Gurgel and two fighters in one night just to earn a title fight.
But just because she's in a preliminary bout doesn't mean Tate will have a gimme-fight. Kedzie is widely considered a top-10 fighter in WMMA and holds a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She also comes from a great camp as Kedzie trains with the guys at Jackson's MMA. Kedzie's record may not look overly impressive but don't write her off as an easy win for Tate.
The UFC and Bellator Are off This Weekend
With the UFC and Bellator taking the weekend off, Strikeforce is the only big show gig left in town. It seems to be becoming the norm for Strikeforce to hold events when the other two big promotions are off which is a smart strategy.
If you're looking for your MMA fix, there are plenty of regional shows going on but if your thirst won't be quenched by that, Strikeforce represents the only major event on Saturday. The card is stacked full of stars and could provide some interesting fights given the matchups.
We could see a title change hands and a few title challengers emerge as well. Given the low expectations for Strikeforce cards, this one is bound to exceed expectations as it's received virtually little attention, and as we all know the cards that get looked down upon, often times surprise us in the end.