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Rousey submits Tate, lifts bantam title

3/4/2012

There is nothing wrong with a fighter talking trash, especially when he or she can back the words up.

With just four professional fights under her belt, Ronda Rousey talked her way into a bantamweight title bout with champion Miesha Tate.

And Rousey made the most of her opportunity, claiming the Strikeforce 135-pound belt Saturday night with a first-round submission of Tate at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

The finish came via an armbar at the 4:27 mark. Tate's left arm appeared to break as the ex-champion was determined not to tap. But the pain eventually proved too much and Tate relented.

It was the longest outing of Rousey's brief professional MMA career. Each of her previous four fights lasted less than a minute.

After winning the title, Rousey was not in a conciliatory mood.

"I did talk my way into this one," said Rousey, who improved to 5-0. "She is much more savvy on the ground than I anticipated.

"She's good, she's legit. But I don't feel too bad about it [hurting her arm]."

If Tate did suffer a broken left arm she showed no sign of being in pain during the postfight interview.

"It's a little sore, but I came here to put on a fight," Tate said. "I really didn't like her so I wanted to come out hard.

"I got a little overzealous and she caught the arm. I respect her as an athlete."

Tate, who was making her first defense of the title she won July 30, 2011, against Marloes Coenen, falls to 12-3.

Thomson grinds out a win over Noons

Hard-hitting lightweight K.J. Noons claimed to have worked extensively on improving his ground game. And he promised to show off his improved skills in that area against Josh Thomson.

Noons, however, will have to wait until his next cage appearance to reveal his advancing ground game. Thomson was able to take Noons down repeatedly throughout the bout en route to a unanimous decision victory.

All three judges, as well as ESPN.com, scored the fight 29-28 for Thomson.

While Noons was dominated on the ground, he showed solid submission defense in the third round when Thomson nearly finished him with an arm triangle.

Despite stepping in the cage for the first time since December 2010, when he was defeated by Tatsuya Kawajiri by unanimous decision, Thomson expressed disappointment in his performance.

"I haven't fought in 15 months," said Thomson, who raised his record to 19-4 with one no contest. "I tried something different because I was always getting hurt; I couldn't train. My conditioning was [bad].

"I'm going to go back to the way I used to train. If I get hurt, I get hurt."

Misaki spoils Daley's rematch plans

Before facing Kazuo Misaki in a welterweight bout, Paul Daley made it known that he wanted a rematch with Tyron Woodley.

Daley, who lost a unanimous decision to Woodley in July 2011, would be better served to never again look beyond the man directly in front of him.

After three hard-fought rounds with Misaki, Daley will have to wait a while longer for a rematch with Woodley as he came out on the short end of a split decision.

Two judges scored the fight 29-28 for Misaki, a former middleweight who was fighting at 170 pounds for the first time. The third judge had Daley winning 30-27.

ESPN.com gave the edge to Daley, 29-28.

"Today I couldn't show my 100 percent performance because this is the first time for me to cut the weight," Misaki said after improving to 25-11-2 with one no contest. "I would have liked to finish this fight, either by KO or submission."

Misaki got the better of Daley in the stand-up, but was taken to the ground several times. He also suffered a huge cut above his left eye -- the result of a left elbow from Daley in the third round.

As blood flowed from the cut, it appeared the fight might be stopped. But the cage-side doctor allowed the bout to continue.

For Daley, it's the third loss in his past five fights. His professional record falls to 29-12-2.

Lumumba finishes Smith in first round

There were a couple things going against Scott Smith entering his middleweight bout with Lumumba Sayers -- he was riding a three-fight losing streak and taking on a man who finishes fights early.

Sayers had yet to go beyond the first round in his mixed martial arts career, and Smith did nothing to change that. Sayers needed just one round to send Smith to his fourth loss in a row.

After landing several hard punches, Sayers slammed Smith to the canvas, where he applied a guillotine that ended the bout at the 1:34 mark.

Lumumba improves to 6-2. None of his eight pro fights has gone more than one round.

Smith falls to 17-10 with one no contest. He has lost five of his six most recent fights.

Souza submits newcomer Marunde in third

Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza stepped in the Hexagon for the first time since losing his title in September to Luke Rockhold.

Souza was eager to return to action, but wasn't happy about facing Strikeforce newcomer Bristol Marunde, who took the bout on short notice.

However, Souza would not allow his disappointment to hinder his performance.

Souza dominated Marunde from the opening seconds of the fight, landing stiff left jabs and hard overhand rights. But it was an arm triangle that would finish Marunde.

Souza applied the submission hold in the third round, forcing Marunde to tap at the 2:43 mark. After picking up the win, Souza (15-3, 1 no contest) quickly turned his attention to Rockhold.

"Our last fight was pretty close," Souza said. "I deserve another shot at the belt and want it very badly."

Marunde falls to 15-6.

Franklin McNeil covers MMA and boxing for ESPN.com. He also appears regularly on "MMA Live." Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil.