Another fight, another arm for Rousey
The only difference this time was that she hung on until there was no doubt.
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey raised her professional record to 4-0 by submitting fellow 145-pounder Julia Budd in the co-main event of Strikeforce Challengers 20 on Saturday in Las Vegas. Rousey got the tapout 39 seconds into the fight with an armbar, the hold that won all of her previous mixed martial arts fights, including three amateur affairs before turning pro in March.
None of Rousey’s fights, pro or amateur, have lasted longer than 57 seconds.
She started this one with another rapid conclusion in mind. Rousey clinched with Budd and pushed her into the cage five seconds after the bout started, got the takedown 11 seconds later and quickly mounted her. Budd employed a standard MMA technique for fighters trapped on the bottom by using her feet to push away from the fence, but it gave Rousey space to isolate her opponent’s right arm and extend it for the submission hold.
Budd rolled in an effort to escape or at least prevent her limb from being stretched, but Rousey converted the hold to a belly-down armbar and torqued the elbow further, then completely dislocated the joint as she rolled back into traditional armbar position. The arm was clearly popped out of the elbow at a painful-looking angle by the time Budd yielded with a tap.
The definitive ending contrasted sharply with Rousey’s August victory against Sarah D’Alelio, who claimed she did not give up even though Rousey and cageside observers heard a cry or yell that the referee interpreted as a verbal submission. The crowd for that bout booed the uncertain nature of the finish.
No one could question the result this time.
“I’m stoked,” Rousey said during her post-fight interview in the cage. “That was really good. I’m glad you guys are cheering for me this time.”
Rousey, who plans to drop down a weight class, called out 135-pound former champion Sarah Kaufman. Although Kaufman hopes for a rematch with titleholder Miesha Tate, Rousey wants to clear her own shot at the belt.
“If Sarah Kaufman’s next in line, please, Strikeforce, let me get a crack at her first,” Rousey said. “I really want to have a title fight against Miesha Tate. I don’t want to take a risk on her losing.”
Kaufman defeated Tate in 2009.
Saturday’s main event took even less time than Rousey-Budd. Lumumba Sayers produced a 28-second stoppage of Antwain Britt, who was dropping to middleweight for the first time after several fights at 205 pounds. After breaking off from a clinch against the fence, Sayers started a flurry of short punches, including two left hooks that landed solidly followed by a right uppercut that snapped Britt’s head and crumpled him to the canvas.
Alhough it was Sayers’ fifth professional win overall, it was his first in Strikeforce and first via knockout after four submission victories. Britt has lost three in a row, two of them by knockout.