Sunday, March 4, 2012 | 12:50 a.m.
Ronda Rousey collected yet another arm at Saturday’s Strikeforce event in Columbus, Ohio.
Rousey, a former Olympic judoka, became the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion by submitting Miesha Tate with an armbar.
It was Rousey’s fifth professional fight. All five have ended via first-round armbar.
“She was much more savvy on the ground than I anticipated,” Rousey said of Tate immediately after the fight while in the cage. “She’s good. She’s legit.”
Rousey’s first four fights had ended in a combined 2 minutes, 18 seconds. Tate nearly doubled the mark, lasting 4:27 before the scene turned eerily familiar.
Rousey got a hold of Tate’s arm and cranked until the champion was grimacing in pain and tapping out. Doctors surrounded Tate for several minutes, aiding an arm that appeared broken.
“I don’t feel that bad about it,” Rousey said of the injury.
Tate came out swinging at Rousey and landed a few powerful shots. But Rousey ultimately got Tate to the ground and nearly submitted her within the opening minute.
A picture-perfect sweep from Tate gave her a dominant position on Rousey’s back. But she couldn’t keep it.
Even though it took longer than normal, Rousey completed what she promised to do to Tate. Tension had simmered between the two for months.
It didn’t die down after the fight, as Tate and Rousey went their separate ways without shaking hands or embracing.
“I really didn’t like her, so I wanted to come out here and come out hard,” Tate said. “I got a little overzealous. She caught the arm. I’ve got to give her respect. I do respect her as an athlete.”
Three other main-card fighters took significant steps toward title shots at the Nationwide Arena. Contenders may have separated themselves in the middleweight, welterweight and lightweight classes.
Most notably, former Strikeforce 155-pound champion Josh Thomson returned from a 15-month injury to score a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over K.J. Noons. “The Punk” took Noons down in each round to grab the win on points.
Thomson dismissed his performance as disappointing, but welcomed a third bout against Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez. Thomson and Melendez split their previous meetings.
“I’m going back to the way I used to train — super-hard, super-aggressive,” Thomson said. “I’m going to make sure I whoop Gilbert’s (butt).”
Tyronn Woodley and new signee Nate Marquardt are set to battle for the Strikeforce welterweight championship in the coming months. Kazuo Mizaki may await the winner.
Misaki, a 35-year old PRIDE veteran, shocked the heavily favored Paul Daley with a split decision win (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) Saturday night. Daley’s striking power didn’t stop Misaki from coming forward on his feet.
Misaki, despite suffering a deep cut on his forehead that would require multiple stitches from a third-round elbow, out-struck the British fighter to secure the victory.
“I would have rather finished this fight,” Misaki said through a translator.
Former middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza had one of the more dominant showings of the night, rolling through Las Vegas-based newcomer Bristol Marunde with a third-round submission.
Souza controlled the fight before completing an arm-triangle choke against the late-replacement opponent. Afterwards, Jacare made the case for a rematch against champion Luke Rockhold.
“Anyone who saw our last fight knows it was very close,” he said. “I deserve another shot at the belt.”
Check below for the rest of the results from Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey.
Lumumba Sayers submitted Scott Smith with a guillotine choke at the 1:34 mark of the first round. Sayers, who has seen all seven of his fights end in the first round, slammed Smith to the mat before finishing him.
Sarah Kaufman showed why she believes she’s still the top contender in the women’s bantamweight division. Despite being passed over Rousey for a title shot, Kaufman defeated Alexis Davis by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28).
Ryan Couture defeated Conner Heun by TKO at 2:52 of the third roud. Talk about nostalgia. It was five years to the day that Couture’s father, Randy Couture, beat Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight championship in the same building.
Roger Bowling defeated Brandon Saling by TKO at 1:15 of the second round. Bowling worked his way to a crucifix position and punished Saling until the referee pulled him off. The two fighters disregarded caution in the first round and engaged in a total slugfest.
Pat Healy submitted Caros Fodor at 3:35 of the third round. Healy took Fodor down in each round before sinking in an arm triangle choke late.