While there are two female MMA fights on the preliminary card, it is the battle between Ronda Rousey and Sarah Kaufman that will cap off this big Strikeforce event. Middleweights Ronaldo Souza and Derek Brunson will be competing for a title shot against middleweight kingpin Luke Rockhold. Also, a top prospect looks to rebound from a big defeat and two welterweight prospects will see action.
Kicking off the evening is a light heavyweight division fight as TJ Cook (12-4-0) competes against Ovince St. Preux (11-5-0). TJ Cook has won five of his last six heading into Saturday Night, but this fight will mark his first bit of MMA competition in 2012. Ovince St. Preux is looking to rebound from his first loss in Strikeforce, which came to Gegard Mousasi at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal. These are two hungry fighters looking for a much needed victory and it will be Ovince St. Preux getting that victory.
Middleweights enter the cage next as Lumumba Sayers (6-2-0) is in action against Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (16-8-0). Lumumba Sayers is coming off of his biggest career victory, which came over UFC veteran Scott Smith at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey. Anthony Smith returns to Strikeforce after a ten month reprieve from the promotion, in between he defeated Richard White and Ian Berg. Lumumba Sayers is on quite the roll right now and he will use that momentum to defeat Anthony Smith on Saturday Night.
A pair of welterweights will see competition next as “Relentless” Roger Bowling (11-2-0) battles Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine (12-3-0). Roger Bowling enters the fight riding a two fight winning streak, including a victory over the now suspended Brandon Saling. Tarec Saffiedine has won five of six in Strikeforce competition, most notably defeating Scott Smith at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson. The winner of this fight could be in line for a title opportunity and that fighter with that potential opportunity will be Tarec Saffiedine.
Up next is a middleweight division fight as Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (15-3-0) takes on Derek Brunson (9-1-0). Ronaldo Souza has been undefeated since dropping the Strikeforce Middleweight title, defeating Bristol Murande at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey. Derek Brunson is looking to rebound from his first career defeat, which came to UFC veteran Kendall Grove. The winner of this fight will get the next middleweight title shot and it will be Ronaldo Souza getting that shot.
Headlining the card is a Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Title fight as champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (5-0-0) defends against Sarah Kaufman (15-1-0). Ronda Rousey will be defending her title for the first time since she defeated Miesha Tate for the gold this past March. Sarah Kaufman earned the title shot when she defeated Alexis Davis at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey in March. The winner of this fight will be determined on whether the fight stays standing or goes to the ground, but it will be Ronda Rousey taking the fight to the ground to keep her title.
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