Here are my picks for the Strikeforce: Miesha Tate vs. Rhonda Rousey fight card, set for March 3, at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio:
Miesha Tate versus Ronda Rousey
Rousey will make her bantamweight debut when she faces Tate for the 135 pound title. Miesha is the more experienced MMA fighter, but Rousey isn’t new to combat sports in any way. Miesha is a competent wrestler (not yet sold on her BJJ skills), but I’m a little more impressed with Ronda’s accomplishments as a judoka (and her ability to secure the arm bar from various positions). Rousey should be able to out-grapple Tate, and eventually finish her off with a submission.
K.J. Noons versus Josh Thomson
Noons will try to move closer to the Strikeforce lightweight title when he faces Josh Thomson on March 3. K.J. is the more technical striker, but he might find himself in a bit of trouble if Thomson gets the fight to the ground. KJ’s takedown defense is pretty solid though, and he should be able to keep the fight standing. K. J wins by decision.
Paul Daley versus Kazuo Misaki
Misaki is currently on a two-fight win streak, but he’ll have his hands full when he faces Daley at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey. Daley is the more dangerous striker, and his takedown defense is a little underrated. Daley should be able to keep the fight standing, and end Misaki’s night early. Daley wins by TKO.
Ronaldo Souza versus Bristol Marunde
“Jacare” lost the Strikeforce middleweight title in his last bout against Luke Rockhold. Jacare will be motivated to get his MMA career back on track, and he should be able to do just that against Marunde. Striking wise, Souza and Marunde are pretty even. But Souza’s BJJ is a lot stronger. “Jacare” should be able to get the fight to the ground and impose his will on Marunde. Souza wins by submission.
Scott Smith versus Lumumba Sayers
Smith is currently in a slump, losing four of his last five fights, but he might be able to turns things around against Sayers. Like Smith, Sayers also has heavy hands, but he isn’t nearly as experienced. Smith wins via KO.
Sarah Kaufman defeats Alexis Davis
Caros Fodor defeats Pat Healy
Conor Heun defeats Ryan Couture
Roger Bowling defeats Brandon Saling