Strikeforce continued to embrace its role as the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion that just won't die, as Strikeforce: "Rousey vs. Kaufman" completed a fairly successful campaign in front of the fans in attendance at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Calif., on Sat., Aug. 18, 2012.
After months of verbal exchanges, the time for talk was over. From the opening bell, Rousey was all over Kaufman, starting off with a series of jabs, transitioning to a sweep, and then pouncing on her wounded prey where she finished her off with another, trademark, first-round armbar submission victory.
Souza was equally impressive in his win, as he sought to show fans that his loss to Luke Rockhold was not a true indicator of his skillset. His 41 second KO left little doubt that he is still a very dangerous fighter at 185 pounds.
Join me after the jump, where we'll name the biggest winner and lowliest loser of the entire Strikeforce: "Rousey vs. Kaufman" event:
This is a tough one. No, really. It is.
There were several really impressive performers tonight. "Jacare" looked like his former, killer self with a quick and brutal knockout win over Brunson, who had been previously unbeaten in Strikeforce.
But none of that is what will be in the headline.
Why? Because Ronda Rousey answered the bell. She has been about as hyped as any fighter in this recent era. She's also been hated on a ton by critics who don't care for her for any multitude of reasons.
Here's the thing. When everybody in the arena knows what you're trying to do, and you do it anyway -- that's practically miraculous.
Kaufman knew her strategy. She had months to prepare for it. This wasn't a Midwestern Regional MMA show in some garage. This was a championship fight against the woman who, before this fight, was ranked as the number one women's MMA fighter in the entire world by most available ranking systems.
Rousey didn't just beat her, she rolled through like a train would roll through a mesh barrier fence. It was quick. It was precise.
It was beautiful.
Hate Rousey all you want. Hate women's MMA while you're at it. But you need to respect her game and her abilities. Otherwise, you might just get your arm broken.
I'm tempted to go with Kaufman for coming up so short after months of boldly stating she was going to dethrone Rousey and take her rightful place as the new champion.
I'm also close to naming any one of the several fighters who were finished in early and violent fashion, in front of the thousands in attendance in San Diego.
But I'm not.
That's because no matter how bad any fighter's performance is on a Strikeforce card, they can take comfort in knowing that they will always be out-terribled by the Strikeforce and Showtime production teams.
I don't even know where to begin. Do I pinpoint the fact that Frank Shamrock (who isn't a bit less annoying without his stupid braces) proudly pulled a new catch phrase out of his back pocket when he blurted out "SUPERWOMAN PUNCH" during one of the WMMA fights -- then did it again a few minutes later?
Do I bring up the fact that after the prelims ended with 20 minutes on the broadcast, Showtime had absolutely nothing cued up and ready to go, so they just cut the broadcast and went to commercials and promos for "Weeds?"
Maybe I call to your attention that Mauro Ranallo is just the absolute worst announcer on the air, and that he seems to never really know what's going on in any given fight or who is ahead, as he mindlessly banters on, using his own catch phrases that he clearly has practiced in front of a mirror dozens of times.
It's just so bad. Which is a shame, because the last few Strikeforce cards have been pretty good.
I know the UFC isn't perfect, but they do a pretty freaking great job with their production. Whether you like Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan or not, they know what's going on. They don't get flustered and have trouble pronouncing names (most of the time).
And in between fights, and when there is dead air, Zuffa does a fantastic job of having programming and quality interviews ready to roll. It's a well-oiled machine, and the Strikeforce/Showtime team is in dire need of an oil change.
That's my rant. I'm done. It's your turn. Who were your big winners and losers from Strikeforce: "Rousey vs. Kaufman?"