The women return to Zuffa action Saturday as Strikeforce pits reigning undefeated Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (5-0) against former champion Sarah Kaufman (15-1) in her first title defense. Supporting the championship affair is a card filled with some of the smaller Zuffa promotion’s best including a co-main event between former middleweight king “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (15-3) and Derek Brunson (9-1). Anchoring the Showtime main card is dangerous submission fighter “Sponge” Tarec Saffiedine (12-3) against knockout artist “Relentless” Roger Bowling (11-2). Lumumba Sayers (6-2) will find himself face to face with “Lionheart” Anthony Smith (16-8) in the second fight of the night and it will all kick off with a battle between red hot Tennessee journeyman “OSP” Ovince St.Preux (11-5) as he battles TJ Cook (12-4).
—MAIN CARD (on InvictaFC.com)—
Shayna Baszler vs. Sara McMann: McMann via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Hitomi Akano vs. Alexis Davis: Davis via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 2, 3:41
Liz Carmouche vs. Kaitlin Young: Carmouche via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 2, 3:34
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Lacey Schuckman: Hamasaki via Submission (Armbar), Round 3, 4:45
Raquel Pa’aluhi vs. Amanda Nunes: Nunes via Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 2:24
Sarah D’Alelio vs. Vanessa Porto: D’Alelio via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 3:16
Barb Honchak vs. Bethany Marshall: Honchak via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 1:22
Julia Budd vs. Elina Nilsson: Budd via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:49
Carla Esparza vs. Sarah Schneider: Esparza via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 4:28
The first and second cards of a burgeoning MMA promotion are always fun and games when a gimmick pays off. For Invicta Fighting Championship, the “gimmick” is the FMMA focus, and it is paying off well. Though Invicta isn’t the first FMMA focused North American promotion, it is the first to successfully market itself as such on a national level. Don’t misconstrue – “gimmick” is not a pejorative, it simply describes what FMMA is to Invicta in business terms, most particularly sales terms. The product they sell is MMA, the reason to buy theirs over others’ is that it’s all women. Much like a car lot offering a chance to win a free car after a test drive on Saturday, the real trick is turning the traffic that shows up for the gimmick into real customers. Invicta has the FMMA crowd, but that isn’t enough to sustain the brand. They also have hordes (relatively speaking) of casual fans who have logged into the free stream and locals who picked up a ticket that are there to take the test drive. Those people will need a quality product from the ground up if Invicta wants them to stick around.
The second installment of Strikeforce action in 2012 takes place this Saturday in the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (17-9) returns from a timely lay-off to take on one of the middleweight division’s rising new stars, Lumumba Sayers (5-2). “The Punk” Josh Thomson (18-4) is back from injury and will be greeted by KJ Noons (11-4) in his return. Midway through the main card, two dynamos of the sport meet as knockout artist “Semtex” Paul Daley (29-11-2) battles a fellow veteran in “Hitman” Kazuo Misaki (24-11-2). Bristol Marunde (12-6) makes his Strikeforce debut in the co-main event but has a steep mountain to climb in the form of submission ace, “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (14-3). The main event has been turning heads for some time and now it finally comes to fruition when “Takedown” Miesha Tate (12-2) puts her women’s welterweight title on the line against “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (4-0). With all the action already placed on the main card, here’s a glance of what to look out for when the combatants take to the cage.
Antwain Britt vs. Lumumba Sayers: Sayers via KO (Punch), Round 1, 0:28
Ronda Rousey vs. Julia Budd: Rousey via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 0:39
Adlan Amagov vs. Anthony Smith: Amagov via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 2:32
TJ Cook vs. Trevor Smith: Smith via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1, 4:28
Derek Brunson vs. Nate James: Brunson via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
The UFC’s newest little brother, Strikeforce, returns to Showtime on November 18 as Strikeforce Challengers’ twentieth installment pits hard hitting TUF veteran Antwain Britt (12-5) against young blood submission fighter Lumumba Sayers (3-2). Also stepping into the cage is the WMMA community’s newest sweetheart, ultra-talented Judo Olympian “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (3-0) as she looks to add another limb to her collection against Canadian Muay Thai champion “The Jewel” Julia Budd (3-1). Russian Unifight Champion Adlan Amagov (8-1-1) will make his second stateside appearance against tested journeyman “Lionheart” Anthony Smith (14-6) and the night will open with a pair of fights featuring four men who have yet to lose in the Strikeforce cage: TJ Cook (11-3), Trevor Smith (5-0), Derek Brunson (8-0), and Nate James (10-6-1). It’s always a good night when the journeyman look to earn their masters card and step into the big show, so Challengers 20 should deliver no less.
Caros Fodor vs. James Terry: Fodor via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Ryan Couture vs. Matt Ricehouse: Ricehouse via Unanimous Decision (2-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Lorenz Larkin vs. Gian Villante: Larkin via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Jason High vs. Quinn Mulhern: High via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Julia Budd vs. Germaine de Randamie: Budd via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Derek Brunson vs. Jeremy Hamilton: Brunson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Eduardo Pamplona vs. Jerron Peoples: Pamplona via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 2:40
Trevor Smith vs. Keith Berry: Smith via Technical Submission, Round 2, 3:02
This Friday night marks the return of Strikeforce’s flagship farm organization, Strikeforce Challengers, as the red hot Caros Fodor (6-1) continues his blitz for a promotion to the Strikeforce main card against Cung Le (7-1) disciple James Terry (9-2). Also slated for action is Ryan Couture (2-0) as he faces Matt Ricehouse (4-0) in an attempt to lay further ground word to build a legacy for himself separate from that of his famed father “The Natural” Randy Couture (19-11). Lorenz Larkin (9-0) will seek to continue his undefeated attack on the heavyweight division as he takes on the Bellmore Kickboxing Academy KO machine Gian Villante (7-2) and kicking off the main card will be “The Jewel” Julia Budd (2-1) and “Iron Lady” Germaine De Randamie (2-1) as the ladies take the cage in an attempt to make waves in the burgeoning Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight division as the first two women to ever fight under a Zuffa banner.
Okay, Spilled Bag of Fights… here we go… Aesop Rock on the iTunes, coffee, vanilla cream cookie. Wait. Looks like we could use a refill on the coffee – hold on… Okay. Spilled Bag of Fights. Here we go… I’m writing this fucking thing on Notepad. I’m in exile, you see. No, not exile… I’m a refugee. Did I spell that right? I dunno. Fucking Notepad doesn’t have spell-check. I should just write this in e-mail…
Okay, here we are in e-mail. So, anyway, I’ve very specifically avoided writing much about me, the guy behind the bag, and try to keep it pretty focused on MMA. And since this is ostensibly an MMA wrap-up column, what better time or platform to ramble on about things that have nothing to do with MMA? Such as the fact that my room in my apartment in LA is uninhabitable due to a combination of a leaking roof and a week-and-a-half of straight rain. So, I’m in Las Vegas visiting Moms and unsure what to do next since the landlord seems to think I should pay the same amount of rent for an uninhabitable apartment as one that fulfills one of the basic requirements of a shelter – i.e.: fucking SHELTER! My contention is that if I wanted a leaky, moldy shelter, I could probably fashion one from some plastic and a cardboard box behind the auto parts store. Sure, I’d miss some of my favorite TV shows and MMA but no one would expect rent for it. So, as I wait in Vegas to find out what the response is to my “How about I don’t pay for what I’m not getting?” offer, I sit down nonetheless and write a Spilled Bag of Fights, for you, loyal readers. For you. Now, when I call the column “Phoning It In”, it’s partially because I don’t have much to write about but also a clever play on words since I asked you guys on Twitter what to write about and I put your suggestions and my responses at the end of the column… like you were phoning in… heh?! See what I did there?? eh?
Strikeforce lugged its cage across the country, landing in Nashville, Tennessee for what looked on paper to be one of their superior “Challenger Series” events in Strikeforce Challengers 13. The card was headlined by a star making match-up at welterweight where “T-Wood” Tyron Woodley (10-0) met “The Sponge” Tarec Saffiedine (9-2) in what looked to be a fantastic collision of up -and-coming stars. Add to that fight its supporting acts on the main card in Rhadi Ferguson (3-0) against John Richards (3-2), Daniel Cormier (5-0) facing Devin Cole (13-9-1) and “Abongo” Ron Humphrey (6-3) meeting with “OSP” Ovince Saint Preux (9-4), not to mention the exciting Amanda Nunes (4-1) taking on “The Jewel” Julia Budd (2-1), and it was lights, camera and heaps of action in the Strikeforce cage. Here’s how the fights played out.
Tyron Woodley vs. Tarec Saffiedine: Woodley via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Daniel Cormier vs. Devin Cole: Cormier via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Ovince St. Preux vs. Abongo Humphrey: St. Preux via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Julia Budd vs. Amanda Nunes: Nunes via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 0:14
Rhadi Ferguson vs. John Richards: Ferguson via Submission (Kneebar), Round 2, 2:00
Thomas Campbell vs. Jeremy Wallace: Campbell via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 1:26
John Salter vs. Casey Huffman: Slater via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 2:59
Dustin Ortiz vs. Matt Horning: Ortiz via TKO (Strikes), Round 3, 2:10
Dustin West vs. Daniel Schmitt: West via KO, Round 1, 0:09
Charles McTorry vs. Krishaun Gilmore: McTorry via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 2, 3:46
Chris Barnhize vs. Karl Willis: Barnhize via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 2:35
Jeremy Boczulak vs. Jason Blackford: Blackford via Submission (Heelhook), Round 2, 1:54
Luke Sanders vs. Josh Jarvis: Sanders via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:15
Gerric Hayes vs. Stoney Hale: Hale via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Stuck at home tonight with no exciting plans? Think again!
Tonight at 11pm ET/PT, Strikeforce and Showtime MMA brings its fans Strikeforce Challengers 13 from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The electrifying evening of fights is headlined by Tyron Woodley (9-0) facing Team Quest standout Tarrec Saffiedine (9-1). This fight should be tremendously exciting as Tarrec Saffiedine utilizes a unique stand-up style that has resulted in a three fight win streak going into this bout. Woodley has looked phenomenal since debuting with Strikeforce. He’s a perfect nine wins against zero losses with six of those wins inside the Strikeforce cage. Woodley made Andre Galvao (5-2) look very ordinary in their October showdown in San Jose, California, even knocking him out only 1:48 into the first stanza. This will unquestionably be the biggest test for Tyron; in fact, it is well within reason to say that Tarec Saffiedine could pull the upset and get the win. Either way, the winner of this fight makes some noise in the welterweight division.