Miesha Tate tipped the scales at 134.5 pounds for her women’s bantamweight title defense against Olympic bronze medalist Ronda Rousey (134.5) in the Strikeforce “Tate vs. Rousey” headliner on Saturday at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The eight other fighters booked for duty on the main draw, lightweight co-headliners Josh Thomson (155) and K.J. Noons (156) among them, also met their contracted weight requirements at Friday’s official weigh-in.
Tate will carry a six-fight winning streak into the cage. The 25-year-old Team Alpha Male representative last appeared at Strikeforce/M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Henderson” in July, when she submitted Golden Glory’s Marloes Coenen with a fourth-round arm-triangle choke to become women’s bantamweight champion at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Finished only once in 14 professional outings, Tate owns a 4-1 mark inside Strikeforce.
A protégé of Jimmy Pedro, “Judo” Gene LeBell and Gokor Chivichyan, Rousey holds the rank of black belt in judo and won bronze in the discipline at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. Unbeaten in MMA, she has submitted all four of her professional opponents and all three of her amateur foes with armbars in less than a minute. Rousey, 25, last competed at Strikeforce Challengers 20 in November, when she needed just 39 seconds to coax a tapout from Julia Budd at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Strikeforce “Tate vs. Rousey” -- which airs on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET/PT -- will also feature a 170-pound duel pitting British striker Paul Daley (171) against 2006 Pride Fighting Championships welterweight grand prix winner Kazuo Misaki (169.5) and a pair of middleweight bouts, as former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (184.5) collides with Bristol Marunde (184) and UFC veteran Scott Smith (186) locks horns with Lumumba Sayers (185).
Two hours prior, Showtime Extreme will carry the remaining four preliminary matchups: Sarah Kaufman (135.5) vs. Alexis Davis (135.5), Caros Fodor (155.5) vs. Pat Healy (155), Ryan Couture (154) vs. Conor Heun (155) and Roger Bowling (170) vs. Brandon Saling (170.5).
Strikeforce “Tate vs. Rousey”
Saturday, March 3
Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship
Miesha Tate (134.5) vs. Ronda Rousey (134.5)
Josh Thomson (155) vs. K.J. Noons (156)
Paul Daley (171) vs. Kazuo Misaki (169.5)
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (184.5) vs. Bristol Marunde (184)
Scott Smith (186) vs. Lumumba Sayers (185)
Sarah Kaufman (135.5) vs. Alexis Davis (135.5)
Caros Fodor (155.5) vs. Pat Healy (155)
Ryan Couture (154) vs. Conor Heun (155)
Roger Bowling (170) vs. Brandon Saling (170.5)