Besides the high-profile Ronda Rousey title defense, women’s MMA was the featured attraction on the Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kafuman undercard as well. Two girlfights graced the four-bout prelim program broadcast on Showtime Extreme from San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center.
Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie
In a wildly entertaining and competitive bout, former women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate made a case for another shot at the strap as she weathered Julie Kedzie’s best to score a late-fight submission.
The two bantamweights met in the center with wild punches; Kedzie landed a head kick, Tate shot for a takedown, and the two separated – and that was the first 30 seconds. Tate repeatedly shot for takedowns, but Kedzie was prepared, each time sprawling or spinning into front control, then disengaging. As Tate stood, Kedzie attacked with punches and kicks, and Kedzie – who was wall-and-stalled into a decision loss in her earlier Strikeforce outing – also got the better of clinches on the cage, pushing to inside position and kneeing Tate’s thighs.
Early in the second, Kedzie kept Tate at bay with strikes and controlled things on the fence. Tate went for a throw but wound up in a triangle as Kedzie elbowed her in the head and moved to an omoplata. Tate stepped over and punched her way out of the omoplata, shifting the round’s momentum in her favor. She took Kedzie’s back, got a body triangle and punched her way into what appeared to be a deep rear-naked choke. Kedzie spun into her and tried to sweep, eventually pushing back to her feet as Tate transitioned to an armbar attempt. Tate worked for the rest of the round and managed to get Kedzie to the ground against the fence.
Round three started well for Kedzie, as she dropped Tate with a kick and sprawled as Tate went for a takedown. Tate was slow to stand, and Kedzie answered with a body kick and another leg kick that sent “Cupcake” (formerly “Takedown”) to the mat. Kedzie dove in with elbow to the head but wound up in Tate’s guard. Tate waited out the attack, then slapped her legs up in an armbar attempt. Though it took over a minute and Kedzie tried to roll out and then slam her way out, Tate eventually rolled her, isolated one arm, and got the tap at 3:28 of the third round.
Tate’s latest win lifts her record to 13-3; Kedzie falls to 16-10.
Adlan Amagov vs. Keith Berry
Vicious Russian striker Adlan Amagov racked up another flashy finish, this one in under a minute as he dispatched fellow knockout artist Keith Berry in a short meetup at middleweight. Amagov opened with a whipping spinning back kick to Berry’s body. He followed that up with an inside kick that dropped Berry to his hands and knees, and “Borz” swarmed with punches until referee Herb Dean waved things off. The time of the stoppage, which drew protests from both Berry and the crowd, was 48 seconds.
The promising Amagov now boasts a 10-2-1 record; Berry slips to 12-10.
Hiroko Yamanaka vs. Germaine de Randamie
In only her fifth professional fight, Dutch kickboxer Germaine de Randamaie used boxing and solid takedown defense to outpoint top-ranked Japanese featherweight Hiroko Yamanaka.
Round one was a studied five minutes between the two, as De Randamie calmly took the center of the cage. Yamanaka bounced and circled, but it was Randamie’s jabs that broke through. Two huge rights from De Randamie missed their mark but a third found its home, as did a left hook. Yamanaka finally exploded forward, connected, bulled her opponent to the fence and tried to drag the bout to the ground. The ensuing minute-long struggle for cage control ended with a referee standup and the two traded leg kicks before the round ended.
Yamanaka was more aggressive in the second, though it was still De Randamie who connected more in the standup, most notably with two looping overhand rights. With three minutes left, Yamanaka took things to the cage. Though she was able to drive De Randamaie across the hexagon, she couldn’t get the AKA–trained Muay Thai specialist down and another referee separation sent the action back to the center.
Yamanaka tried to get things to the ground earlier in the third round, but De Randamaie defended that attempt as well as the ensuing two. Back in the center, Yamanaka seemed more willing to exchange, but it was still De Randamaie who got the best of their trades, and a wild striking exchange between the two rangy women drew the crowd’s appreciation. De Randamaie’s offense consisted mostly of a left jab followed by a big right hand, and while it wasn’t tricky, it was effective as she repeatedly as she connected, then sealed the round with two clanging head kicks in the last forty seconds of the fight.
All three judges scored things 30-27 for “The Iron Lady,” whose record improves to 3-2; Yamanaka drops to 12-2-1.
Bobby Green vs. Matt Ricehouse
Two native Californians opened the night’s fights with a lightweight tilt as “King” Bobby Green spoiled Matt Ricehouse’s perfect record with a busy 15-minute stand-up performance.
Green came out fast with feints and got the better of the boxing that characterized the fight. Both connected soundly early on and demonstrated pinpoint counterstriking, but it was Green whose fists found their targets throughout the bout as Ricehouse wearied under the attack. Green stayed particularly busy with left jabs, nasty body shots and solid uppercuts, dropping Ricehouse in the first round.
Durable Ricehouse, a BJJ purple belt with wins over ground specialists including Ryan Couture and Bill Cooper, survived, but seemed stymied by his opponent’s combinations. He circled and looked for openings, but Green’s crisp strikes made him pay each time he moved forward. Green also scored with takedowns in each round, and wore down his opponent with thudding knees each time Ricehouse tried to retreat to the clinch.
Green won with scores of 30-27 across the board, improving his record to 19-5 and 4-1 in Strikeforce; Ricehouse’s first defeat leaves him at 6-1.