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“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey’s Chael Sonnen impression might help save women’s MMA

While Chael Sonnen is busy trading insults with ring card beauty in Arianny Celeste (insults that are funny but wrong, I might add), Ronda Rousey is busy doing her best Sonnen impression. The Strikeforce upstart is throwing out challenges to 135-pound champ Meisha Tate despite having only four pro fights under her belt. Granted, the Olympic judoka won all four of those fights by armbar in less than a minute, including snapping Julia Budd’s elbow just two weeks ago.

Both fighters appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani this week and Rousey wasted no time throwing down the gauntlet while throwing former champ and potential contender Sarah Kaufman under the bus for good measure:

“Sarah Kaufman kind of gives boring interviews, she’s not a supermodel and the way she fights, she doesn’t finish matches in extraordinary fashion. It’s just kind of being realistic. I’m sorry that I have to say things bluntly and offend some people. I just want there to be a highly marketable, exciting women’s title fight, and I want to be part of that because I feel like I could do a really good job, and you could, too. I think the two of us could do a better job of that than you and Sarah Kaufman. I really feel 100-percent that a fight between her and me needs to happen. It’ll be great for women’s MMA. It’ll be the first highly anticipated fight in women’s MMA for a long time.”

Rousey must’ve missed Kaufman’s power-slam KO of Roxanne Modafferi, which certainly showed she knows how to finish a fight in exciting fashion. But she has a point that brash soundbites and beauty make women’s MMA more marketable. As Tate said, “If you weren’t pretty, it wouldn’t matter what you said or didn’t say. That’s why you’re getting this attention. I don’t know, I guess I personally like more of a humble approach.”

So while Tate would prefer a rematch with former champ Kaufman, and vice versa, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to give Rousey the title shot. Women’s MMA is on life support. It’s two biggest stars are nowhere to be found — Gina Carano is off making movies and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos can’t seem to get a fight for a lack of 145-pound challengers.  Sonnen has already proven that having an abrasive personality can excite interest in a match-up. So let Rousey run with the smack talk, but maybe give her a title shot against Cyborg, not Tate, because I just don’t see her ripping the Brazilian’s arm off.

November 30, 2011   No Comments

Frausto, Tate, Galvao and Stewart highlight Friday’s Strikeforce Challengers

Between the UFC on Versus last weekend, Dana White’s Toronto visit and this Saturday’s UFC 111, the Strikeforce Challengers card on Friday has flown under the radar.

Now I’m not going to break down the whole card. I just don’t care that much about every fight.

But there are a couple that I’ll be paying close attention to. The first is a women’s tilt between the undefeated Zoila Frausto and Miesha Tate. Scrappy is how I expect the fight to go down, especially after Frausto head-kicked her way to victory in her last outing.

Also catching my eye are jiu-jitsu black belts Andre Galvao and Luke Stewart, who will square off at 205 pounds.

March 24, 2010   No Comments

Another piece of cage candy

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Last week, MMA Junkie talked up relative unknown Cindy Dandois as the future of women’s MMA. Yesterday, Five Ounces of Pain pimped Erin Toughill as the next challenger to Strikeforce women’s champ Cris “Cyborg” Santos. Today, it’s Miesha Tate.

Now, I’m all in favour of giving women’s MMA a bigger spotlight, and Tate’s a good young fighter (she’s 23 and has a 6-2 record). She’s a great addition to Strikeforce’s growing roster of female fighters and she’s certainly “marketable,” as you can see above.

But her last fight was a unanimous-decision loss to Sarah Kaufman at a Strikeforce Challengers event in May. Kaufman is 10-0 and went on to beat Shayna Baszler by unanimous decision just one month later. Kaufman has incredible boxing and Muay Thai and great takedown defence, and as she showed against both Tate and Baszler, her submission skills are sharp, too. She’s the real future of the Strikeforce 135-pound division. (Of course, in the Tate interview she does say that she wants to face Kaufman for the Strikeforce 135-pound belt if and when they create it.)

August 26, 2009   No Comments

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