Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey Preliminary Card Live Blog

Sarah Kaufman

Prelims begin at 8 p.m. Eastern on Showtime Extreme

Strikeforce is back in Columbus, Ohio, for tonight’s Tate vs. Rousey card. HeavyMMA will provide live round-by-round and fight-by-fight coverage of both the preliminary card and the main card.

Tonight’s prelims include a women’s bantamweight contenders bout between Sarah Kaufman and  Alexis Davis and a lightweight bout between Caros Fodor and Pat Healy.

Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey takes place at the Nationwide Arena. The main card features a women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Miesha Tate and top contender Ronda Rousey, plus a co-main event between lightweights K.J. Noons and Josh Thomson.

The main card airs at 10 p.m. Eastern on Showtime. The preliminary card starts at 8 p.m. and airs on Showtime Extreme.

Ryan Couture vs. Conor Heun
Round 1: Heun takes the center and throws a jab, then eats one from Couture. Couture’s proud poppa, UFC Hall of Famer Randy, is in the house in his corner tonight. Couple good outside leg kicks from Couture, who then mostly ducks under a left hook from Heun. Good teep from Couture. Heun mostly looking to counter so far with his striking. Good 1-2 from Couture, and he rushes in. Heun looks for a takedown, and they clinch up. Couture looking for a trip takedown and he pins Heun along the fence and works knees. Heun finally gets his break and lands a glancing elbow on the release. High kick from Heun misses. Couture again gets inside for a nice 1-2, then he blocks a kick, then lands another 1-2. Heun gets a takedown, and Couture looks to tie him up with a an arm or triangle or whatever he can get, but Heun picks him up and gets a nice slam. Heun is cut, though. And once back to the feet, Heun lands another takedown. Spinning back kick from Couture lands. And despite the takedowns, HeavyMMA scores the frame 10-9 for Couture, a 3-to-1 underdog in the fight.

Round 2: Couple left jabs from Heun, and then he just misses with a spinning back kick that is mostly blocked by Couture. Heun shoots and gets an ankle pick, then lands a couple nice shots on the way back up. Heun ducks under a right from Couture, and Heun uses it to score a nice takedown. Couture immediately looks for a kimura from half guard. Finally he has to let off the armbar and falls back into full guard. From there, Couture quickly looks for an armbar, then a triangle. Heun gets a front choke as Couture gets back to his feet. But Couture fends it off, lands a nice elbow, then takes Heun’s back and looks for a rear naked choke. He traps Heun’s arm, but he can’t hold it. Heun gets back to his feet at the 1-minute mark, and Couture pins Heun on the fence. Heun pulls rubber guard and locks up both Couture’s arms. It’s a very close round, and HeavyMMA will give it just barely to Heun, 10-9.

Round 3: Couple nice early jabs from Couture, then a front kick, then a straight right. Heun misses an uppercut and Couture clinches him and gets an easy takedown. But Heun gets an arm and looks for a submission as Couture lands some hammer fists to the ribcage. But Couture gets to full mount. He’s not able to do anything with it, though he maintains the dominant position. He moves around and takes Heun’s back. He starts landing some good ground-and-pound, and the ref tells Heun to defend himself. But Heun is clearly gassed – he has nothing. And soon after, it’s all over.

Result: Ryan Couture def. Conor Heun, TKO (strikes), 2:52 Round 3

Caros Fodor vs. Pat Healy
Round 1: Fodor starts with some early strikes, and Healy defends and pushes Fodor up against the cage. But Fodor turns it around. Healy then reverses. Not much action, though both fighters look for knees. Fodor lands a nice right, then follows up with a combination that has Healy clearly stunned. But he recovers and Fodor ties him up along the fence, then drops down for a takedown and into half guard. Good elbow from Fodor. But Healy works his way out, gets back to his feet and gets a nice takedown of his own. FOdor falls back into full guard and has to defend Healy’s ground-and-pound attempts. Couple good shots from Healy, and Fodor lands a couple nice shots from his back. It’s a close first round, a tale of two halves. HeavyMMA will give the round to Fodor, 10-9, in a close one.

Round 2: Good jab from Fodor. Then an overhand right with a jab behind it Healy lands a nice 1-2. Fodor counters with an inside leg kick. Healy goes inside with a kick, then drops down for a takedown that isn’t there. But he holds on to it. And holds on. And holds on. Fodor balances well to avoid it, then settles back onto his butt and looks for a guillotine. Healy isn’t doing much with the position. But eventually, Healy gets into side control. But he doesn’t do much with it, other than an arm triangle that isn’t close at all, and the crowd in Columbus starts to boo. The referee asks them to get to work. Healy passes to full mount and lands some decent strikes. HeavyMMA scores the second for Healy, 10-9.

Round 3: Traded jabs, and 40 seconds in Healy shoots for a single. After Fodor avoids it briefly, Healy finally gets it. Healy pretty quickly moves into full mount with 3:45 left. Healy works some decent ground-and-pound. Nothing close to getting the fight stopped, but he’s scoring points. Healy looks for an arm triangle, but Fodor gets out and looks for a heel hook. But Healy slips it and gets back into full mount. He locks up the arm triangle again, and this one’s good. Fodor has to tap for the first loss of his Strikeforce career.

Pat Healy def. Caros Fodor, submission (arm triangle), 3:35 Round 3

Roger Bowling vs. Brandon Saling
Round 1: Bowling takes the center and throws and early leg kick, then a head kick that Saling briefly catches. Another high kick from Bowling. And pretty quickly, we’re into a slugfest. Bowling lands a bunch of big shots, but Saling lands one of his own. Bowling ties him up and looks for a takedown. But soon enough, they start slinging again – and Saling drops Bowling! He’s got some power. But Bowling recovers. On the ground, Bowling looks for a submission, but Saling does some good work and back on the feet in another slugfest, Saling again lands some pretty decent shots. It looks like Saling has the better chin, despite being a nearly 8-to-1 underdog. Bowling gets a mounted crucifix and he starts landing some big elbows. Good cut on Saling’s head. Bowling will get to full mount to end the round. They touch gloves after the round. It’s a fun one, but it’s 10-9 for Bowling on the HeavyMMA card.

Round 2: Pretty easy early takedown for Bowling, and he gets into side control. He starts to work some strikes to the head. He’s again got the mounted crucifix and he’s landing easy shots. Saling can’t get out of there and Mark Matheny calls a halt to it.

Result: Roger Bowling def. Brandon Saling, TKO (strikes), 1:15 Round 2


Sarah Kaufman vs. Alexis Davis
Round 1: Both women start out swinging. Davis works a couple kicks, and she stands right inside against Kaufman, who has 10 of her 14 wins by knockout. But Davis gets drilled with a shot, and Kaufman ties her up and pushes her against the fence. Good knee from Davis on the break. And Davis is cut up, but she’s really standing right in the pocket. Nice kick from Davis, but Kaufman ties her up. That gives the ref a chance to call in the doc to look at the cut above Davis’ left eye. It’s pretty bad. Davis says she’s fine, and the doc says it’s OK. But there’s no way she can last much longer with a few more strikes from Kaufman. Davis works kicks. But Kaufman is bombing away toward that cut and is landing. They tie up again. And Davis lands some good shots – and now Kaufman has a big cut. Both women are bleeding from above their eyes. It’s a 10-9 first round for Kaufman in a very fun fight.

Round 2: We sling some more leather to open up, and Kaufman tries to pull Davis down for a one-armed takedown, but just thorws her of balance. Davis looks like she’s struggling to see well with all the blood. Kaufman ties up again, and they jockey for position along the fence. They trade clinched knees. They tie each other up and trade some good elbows and punches. But Kaufman is still getting the better of most of them – not by a ton, but enough to win rounds. They stay clinched and trade some more. HeavyMMA gives the second to Kaufman, 10-9.

Round 3: More of the same to open up the last round. Big strikes from each. 1-2 from Kaufman gets through. They clinch up and Kaufman lands some good knees. Davis finally gets a takedown with about three minutes left, and lands in side control. Kaufman starts covering up for the ground and pound. Kaufman trying to explode out, but can’t yet. She nearly gets there, and Davis momentarily goes into the north-south. Davis wants Kaufman’s arm, but can’t get it and Kaufman sweeps and takes top position. But Davis reverses and is back in side control and Kaufman again tries to buck her way out. Good hammer fists from Davis. She probably needs to finish Kaufman to win teh fight. Davis takes Kaufman’s back briefly with a minute left. Kaufman in half guard now and just holding on to survive the round and the fight. Davis throwing elbows. But Kaufman will survive the round. Davis gets a 10-9 third round. Not quite enough for a 10-8. But the 10-9 for Davis should make it 29-28 Kaufman on the final tally.

Result: Sarah Kaufman def. Alexis Davis, majority decision (29-29, 29-28, 29-28)