Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey Official for March 3; Tickets On Sale Friday

Ronda Rousey (Strikeforce)

Women’s bantamweight title up for grabs

Strikeforce will return to Columbus, Ohio, for a March 3 card featuring a women’s bantamweight title fight.

Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey is set for the Nationwide Arena in Ohio’s capital city and will be broadcast live on Showtime. The main event is scheduled to be a women’s 135-pound championship between titleholder Miesha Tate and unbeaten challenger Ronda Rousey. Tickets for the event go on sale to the general public on Friday.

Tate and Rousey have not been shy about their dislike for each other in recent weeks, making the fight a definite grudge match, as well. In addition to that fight, the Showtime-broadcast main card features former lightweight champion Josh Thomson vs. KJ Noons; Paul Daley vs. Kazuo Misaki; and women’s bantamweight contender Sarah Kaufman vs. Alexis Davis.

Strikeforce was targeting the event for the finals of its heavyweight grand prix tournament, which by March 3 will be more than a year old and not yet completed. But Daniel Cormier‘s still-healing broken hand appears to be making the March 3 timetable for the fight against Josh Barnett an iffy proposition.

When Strikeforce first announced the card during the Showtime broadcast of the Rockhold vs. Jardine event on Jan. 7, the main event was left open, though Tate-Rousey was the fight that was played up. Now that fight gets card-title treatment.

In a release from Strikeforce, CEO Scott Coker said going back to Columbus, where the promotion first visited last March in conjunction with The Arnold Sports Festival, is something he’s excited for.

“The energy in the city of Columbus is always incredible during the weekend of the Arnold, and we can’t wait to get back there with this championship fight,” Coker said. “Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey is the title fight fans wanted, and we were happy to give it to them.”

It’s a title fight, though, that may have temporarily left Kaufman behind. Many, including Kaufman and Tate, believed she was next in line for a shot at the title – and that Rousey talked her way into the picture with her grudge with Tate. Rousey, a Judo Olympian, is just 4-0, but has all four of her wins by armbar – and in under a minute each.

“I feel like Ronda will definitely be a challenge for me, but not one that I can’t handle,” Tate said. “Her Olympic experience is great, but this is MMA and her MMA career has been short. She hasn’t truly been tested yet and I plan on doing just that.”

Rousey said she plans on taking Tate’s title.

“Miesha is a seasoned and respectable fighter, but she’s not a dangerous fighter,” Rousey said. “If she thinks she’s going to submit me, she’s got another thing coming. She’ll have her chance on March 3, and we’ll all find out who the best female MMA fighter in the world is.”