If anyone, including myself, questioned women’s MMA, the Showtime event on March 5 in Columbus should have changed everyone’s minds. The women were the stars. They weren’t just good women’s fights; they were good MMA fights. Just as men’s MMA took some years to grow into its current greatness, women’s MMA is certainly coming around.
With stars like Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Sarah Kaufman and Alexis Davis showing up and performing like they did, more and more world class athletes will join the women’s ranks. This will only bring more competition and excellence.
But let’s not forget the men. There were some outstanding performances by Kazuo Misaki, Roger Bowling, Pat Healy and Ryan Couture. All in all it was an excellent night of exciting fights. Check out the recap and pics below.
Couture vs. Heun
The preliminary card at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, prior to the Showtime televised event turned out some of the most exciting fights of the evening.
Ryan Couture, son of UFC Hall of Famer and MMA icon Randy Couture, proved just how well rounded a fighter he is. Both fighters threw a slew of kicks and punches in the first round with Couture getting the best of Heun with knees to the legs and head. Heun ate a few big punches standing in the center of the ring, one opening a big gash over his left eye.
Couture again took the advantage with striking in the second round with Heun scoring a huge takedown midway through. Both fighters showed excellent offensive and defensive tactics with strikes and submission attempts with no real damage being done.
At the start of the third round, it was evident Couture had shown up in superior condition. Being relentless in his attack, Couture forced the fight to the mat, culminating in mounting Heun’s back, allowing him to drop bombs of elbows and punches and ending in a TKO. Pics.
The stoppage was at 2:52 of the third round.
Fodor vs. Healy
Both fighters wasted no time, opening with punches from the start. Fodor landed a shot to the chin which stunned Healey. Fodor scored a takedown and immediately unleashed a ground and pound, but Healy hit a back-door escape and tripped Fodor to the ground. The round ended with Healy scoring big with punches from Fodor’s guard.
In the second round, Healy again went for the takedown, keeping Fodor on his back with a less than impressive pace. Nonetheless, Healy took advantage of the mount and unloaded as the round closed.
Healy’s impressive wrestling stood out in the third round. About 1:50 into the round, Healy attempted an arm triangle, but Fodor showed good defense and escaped, going for a leg and looking for a submission. Healy escaped and returned to the arm triangle, which ended in a tap-out at 3:53 in the third.
Bowling vs. Saling
The first round quickly turned in to a slug fest, with both fighters being dazed early on. Bowling took the fight to the mat and secured a crucifix position, unloading a relentless barrage of punches and elbows and opening several cuts on Saling’s face.
In the second round, the fight quickly went to the mat. Again, Bowling returned to the crucifix position and dropped devastating shots. Saling was unable to escape or protect himself, and the fight was stopped at 1:15 in the second.
Kaufman vs. Davis
In an effort to reclaim her belt in the featured preliminary card attraction, Sarah Kaufman first had to get through Alexis Davis, which proved to be one of the most exciting fights of the evening.
The fighters were toe to toe, both landing punches. Kaufman, though getting stunned, got the best of Davis doing obvious damage to her face. The ref called for a timeout for a doctor’s examination of the three-inch gash over Davis’ left eye.
Despite the gash, the fight continued. Both fighters traded heavy shots for the rest of the round. Davis returned the favor by opening a cut of her own with a forearm strike. At the close of the round the crowd went wild showing their appreciation for both fighters.
Relentless connections continued in the second round, with Kaufman proving to be the stronger fighter.
In the third round, with no slowing down of action, Davis scored a takedown. A combination of elbows and punches ensued, with Kaufman in defense. Davis attempted an arm bar but returned to what worked and delivered combinations of strikes. Without Davis getting the stoppage she needed, Kaufman picked up the “W.”
Davis’ ground and pound
Souza vs. Marunde
Unlike the preliminary card fights, this fight opened slowly with the fighters eventually in a clinch and exchanging strikes with nothing really landing until Souza connected with a knee and a right hand, managing to take Marunde’s back standing. Marunde went to all fours while Souza threw multiple shots. Marunde fell to his knees and the ref stood them up, warning Souza for punches to the back of the head. As the action continued, Souza attempted a guillotine but couldn’t synch it. The round ended with the fighters clinched against the fence.
The second round began with a series of strikes, with Marunde wobbling from a left hook. Souza briefly took Marunde’s back and ended up on the mat, but Marunde quickly escaped but got hit with a hard shot to the body. Souza took a hard outside leg kick.
In round 3, Souza grabbed a leg and tripped Marunde, then landed multiple strikes from the top. After taking Marunde’s back, Souza locked in an arm triangle, forcing Marunde to tap out.
Smith vs. Sayers
Sayers took early control, scoring a takedown and landing punches to the head. Sayers eventually let go and jumped to his feet before landing a big shot. Smith tried to lock in a standing choke, but Sayers picked Smith up and dropped him hard to the mat. Shortly thereafter, Sayers sunk a guillotine and Smith tapped out.
Daley vs. Misaki
The fight opened with solid leg kicks from Daley and punches from Misaki. Misaki scored a takedown. As the fighters got to their feet, Misaki landed solid knees. As the fight progressed, Misaki proved to be the more aggressive fighter, though Daley got his own takedown and landed a few solid lefts.
In the second round, Misaki hurt Daley with a knee to the body and a big left, and then scored a takedown. Daley got back up and got the better of a brief exchange. Daley took Misaki’s back, but Misaki reversed it and initiated some ground and pound. The ref, however, stood them up with 10 seconds left. A light exchange ended the round.
The third round started with an aggressive Misaki countering Daley’s strikes before Daley scored a double leg takedown. While on the ground, Daley opened a huge cut above Misaki’s left eye with e left elbow. With blood all over his upper body, the ref called time for the doctor to look at what appeared to be a wide open four-inch gash. The fight continued as the crowd cheered like crazy, with Misaki pressing Daley and an ensuing great exchange against the cage as Daley began to show signs of being gassed. Misaki literally stalked Daley, throwing a flying knee, walking through a few punches and defending a takedown attempt. As the round ended, Misaki threw a flurry of punches while Daley tried a meager takedown attempt.
Misaki won by split decision.
Thompson vs. Noons
With this fight being a co-main event, you’d expect much more than it delivered. This was one of the worst fights of its level that I’ve ever witnessed. Even the winner Josh Thompson admitted, “The fight was shit.”
Thompson won a unanimous decision while earning an $80,000.00 flat fee for this “shit” fight, The highest for the evening.
Tate vs. Rousey
Rousey, despite her callousness after the fight toward Tate’s injuries, is a world class MMA fighter and has all the ingredients to become a star. I would hope in the future, Rousey will learn you can be competitive and not like your opponent, but still show class. Showing concern about her opponent’s welfare is not weakness, and would go very far in propelling her to stardom in the future.
Tate, now the former champ, obviously did not have the best game plan. Instead of going toe to toe and striking, which is Rousey’s weakness, she seemed hell-bent on taking the fight to the ground. You have to commend Tate for having confidence in her own grappling, and pressing an Olympic Judo Champion. Tate has nothing to be ashamed of. It will be interesting to see how Miesha Tate rebounds from this. I have confidence we will see a better, more prepared Tate in the future.
The first round began, and Tate came out swinging. Rousey eventually took Tate down and executed an early armbar, which looked to dislocate Tate’s elbow. Tate showed her poise and athleticism, and miraculously escaped to top position, delivering a few strikes.
On their feet, Tate continued to press Rousey. Strikes were thrown by each, with not much landing. Tate scored a takedown and got Rousey’s back with no real damage done. The fighters took to their feet again before Rousey hip-tossed Tate, moving into a mount that morphed into a devastating armbar to end the fight at 4:27 in the first round.
Miesha mistakenly closing the distance
After the fight, when questioned about Miesha Tate’s arm, Ronda Rousey stated, “I don’t feel that bad about it,” showing no concern for a worthy opponent. Miesha Tate, on the other hand, showed true professionalism and class by giving props to Rousey despite hearing such trash talk.