All the pre-fight hype on Saturday night surrounded the Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman main event between bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and challenger Sarah Kaufman, but there was a strong contingent of athletes on the preliminary card in San Diego, as well.
The prelims were capped by a tremendous battle between two of the top fighters in the Strikeforce women’s 135-pound division.
Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie
Strikeforce doesn’t award post-fight honors as does the UFC, but if they did Miesha Tate and Julie Kedzie would run away with the Fight of the Night award.
Kedzie opened strong, fending off most of Tate’s takedown attempts and gaining steam with a more accurate and powerful striking attack. Tate answered strong late in the second round, however, nearly locking on a fight-ending choke.
Kedzie turned the tide back in her favor in round three, landing a low kick then following with another kick that landed flush to Tate’s face, dropping her. Kedzie followed her to the mat, but Tate defended the initial ground and pound before locking on an armbar that, try as she might, Kedzie couldn’t escape.
Tate eventually turned and extended her hips on the armbar, leaving Kedzie with no choice but to tap.
The victory put Tate back on the winning track after losing her Strikeforce bantamweight belt to Ronda Rousey earlier this year.
Adlan Amagov vs. Keith Berry
In a fight that was over almost as fast as it started, Adlan Amagov opened with his patented spinning back kick to the midsection then sent Keith Berry to the mat with a kick to the knee. As soon as Berry hit the mat, Amagov followed with a succession of punches, causing referee Herb Dean to stop the fight.
Berry immediately jumped up, apparently unhurt, protesting the stoppage, but the fight was stopped and called a TKO for Amagov just 48 seconds into the opening round.
Germaine de Randamie vs. Hiroko Yamanaka
Germaine de Randamie stumbled her last time out for Strikeforce, but made no mistakes against Hiroko Yamanaka on Saturday night, outgunning her Japanese foe all night long.
It went the three-round distance, but de Randamie’s superior kickboxing shone through as she rocked a very tough Yamanaka over and over again throughout the fight, en route to a unanimous decision from the judges.
Bobby Green vs. Matt Ricehouse
Bobby Green ran his Strikeforce record to 4-1, winning the night’s opener over Matt Ricehouse by unanimous decision. Green dominated the fight on the feet, showing superior hands and driving home numerous knees in racking up his fourth consecutive victory.