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By Rich Hansen, MMA Torch Columnist
1.) Ronda Rousey is an absolute breath of fresh air for MMA. In a sport that is devoid of stars, devoid of personalities, and overwrought with athletes looking to display their athletic abilities in the spirit of competition and friendship, Ronda Rousey wants to hurt people. She wants anyone who steps into the cage with her to have nightmares for years afterwards. Hell, I think I'm going to have nightmares about her snapping my arm. I don't know if Sarah Kaufman is wise enough to spend her entire training camp drilling armbar defense, but if not, she's going to suffer the same fate as Miesha Tate. Then again, twelve weeks of armbar defense won't likely be enough to keep Rousey from collecting one of Kaufman's arms as yet another trophy.
2.) Speaking of Sarah Kaufman, let's give not only her but her entire gender in the sport their due. The two best fights on this card were the two women's fights. While Rousey is about 42 levels above Kaufman and Alexis Davis, Kaufman and Davis showed more heart and tolerance for punishment than you'll see from any man. Women's MMA isn't for everybody, and I understand that point of view, once suffering from that delusion myself. And yes, I understand that 135 pound women are going to hit softer and move slower than 135 pound men. But it's apparent to anyone who watches with an open mind that the women have the same intangibles (heart, pain tolerance, desire) that the men possess, and those are all excellent reasons to give the women a chance.
3.) Josh Thomson defeated K.J. Noons in a dull affair that likely earned him a shot at Gilbert Melendez. Unfortunately for Thomson (and for Strikeforce), the performance was so dull that even the fans who remember the two exciting affairs Thomson and Melendez have had in the past aren't going to want to see the trilogy be completed. Strikefroce's hands are tied, however, as Pat Healy's victory over Carlos Fodor was even more dull than Thomson's victory over Noons. Healy submitted Fodor in the third round, which works in his favor, but Thomson is the bigger name and as a history with Melendez. Regardless, unless Eddie Alvarez signs with Strikeforce, there isn't one fight they can give to Melendez that is worthy of his time.
4.) Kazuo Misaki came into his fight with Paul Daley as a greater than three to one underdog against the controversial Brit. Misaki managed to outstrike the striker en route to a surprising split decision victory. Misaki made the drop to 170 for the first time in his career, but was still undersized against the hulking Daley. In what was the most bizarre world fight I remember in a long time, Daley broke Misaki's nose, landed four - count 'em, four - takedowns on Misaki, and split Misaki open like a stuck pig. Yet, despite those facts, Daley looked listless, confused, and uninspired and absolutely did not win that fight. We saw the best version of Kazuo Misaki, and if he can maintain that level of fighting, he could become a title challenger at 170.
5.) Jacare Souza put on a clinic against overwhelmed opponent in Bristol Marunde. Jacare owned every second of their fight, eventually choking him out in the third round. Jacare dropped his middleweight title to Luke Rockhold, and clearly wants another title shot. Considering the fact that he hold a past victory over the only other likely candidate, Tim Kennedy, I would think that we'll see Jacare vs. Rockhold this summer. Jacare's standup was crisp, and it's clear that he's an elite athlete. I don't know if he underestimated Rockhold in their first fight or if something else was going on in Jacare's life when they fought in September, but if this version of Jacare shows up in a rematch, it will be a much better night for Jacare, win or lose.
Follow Rich Hansen on Twitter @MMATorchRich
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