Strikeforce once again delivered the goods from the Valley View Center in San Diego, California. It is with great pleasure to Zuffa that the stars of the evening’s co-headlining bouts impressed the most. Between them, Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey and former Strikeforce Middle Champion Ronaldo Souza took a combined 95 seconds to bounce their opponents from the cage.
It’s time to look at what comes next for the evening’s headliners, although it does seem to be rather elementary for both winners.
Ronda Rousey: “Business as usual,” Ronda Rousey did it again. In absolutely no time, the Olympic judoka took Sarah Kaufman to the ground, landing in mount. The remainder of the time was spent with the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion working to lock up her signature armbar. She inevitably did, forcing a tap at 54 seconds.
Rousey immediately lived up to her moniker of “Rowdy” by calling out former Strikeforce featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” for a grudge match. There is realistically no other match to make at this point. It’s the biggest fight the promotion has to offer. It should also give the division time to sort itself out for a future title challenger as Rousey has breezed through what are arguably the top two in the division.
Next up: Cris “Cyborg”
Sarah Kaufman: It was apparent that Kaufman was disappointed in her performance. If we stick to the idea that losers fight losers, a match-up between Kaufman and Julie Kedzie seems inevitable. Realistically, Miesha Tate should face Kaufman once again, but “Cupcake” may have just put herself “in the mix” for another title shot after the “Cyborg” issue is sorted out.
Ideally: Julie Kedzie
Ronaldo Souza: While “Jacare” has shown steady improvement in the striking department for a long time now, it would seem that since dropping the Strikeforce middleweight title to Luke Rockhold, his striking has improved by leaps and bounds. It didn’t take long for one of the most accomplished grapplers on the planet to get it done in the striking department. In under one minute, the Brazilian dropped Derek Brunson twice, finally bodying the Jackson’s product at 41 seconds of the opening frame.
It’s pretty apparent where we go from here. “Jacare” will now go on to rematch with Luke Rockhold for the Strikeforce middleweight title. Such is the landscape of the Strikeforce middleweight division, we will likely see Rockhold, Souza, and Kennedy fighting one another in various combinations, likely in an infinite loop.
Next Up: Luke Rockhold
Derek Brunson: It has not been a good summer for Brunson. After being robbed by the judges against UFC veteran Kendall Grove at ShoFight 20 in June, the North Carolina native was obliterated by “Jacare” in a mere 41 seconds in the cage tonight. We’re still unsure as to where Brunson stands in the division, although we know it certainly isn’t anywhere near the top. Perhaps a match-up with perennial gatekeeper to the stars, Robbie Lawler, will tell us more.
Ideally: Robbie Lawler