Jayne Kamin-Oncea, US PRESSWIRE
Tate overcame a rough first round and a third-round knockdown by Julie Kedzie, showing her grit in turning the tide and eventually forcing a third-round tapout. The armbar submission came at 3:28 of the final round of their Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman prelim.
Kedzie, a respected veteran, came in like gangbusters, producing her best performance in years, scoring early and often with her striking. Tate tried multiple takedowns in the first round, but Kedzie always seemed one step ahead, and was able to sprawl and defend.
Tate rebounded well between rounds and used her wrestling and ground game to re-establish control in the second, taking Kedzie's back and looking for a rear naked choke and guillotine at various times. While she was unable to secure either one, the effort likely evened the scoring at one round apiece heading into the third.
Kedzie's leg kicks seemed to affect Tate's mobility, and just as the former champion switched stances, Kedzie head kicked her, knocking Tate down. Tate withstood the flurry and threatened with an armbar from the bottom. Kedzie defended at first, but Tate kept working the hold and eventually locked it out, forcing Kedzie to tap.
"I worked a lot of my ground game," Tate said. "It felt good when I got that arm bar and i wasn't going to give it up for anything."
According to statistics shown by Showtime, Kedzie had out-struck Tate 71-24 before the fight-ending finish.
Tate improved to 13-3 with the win while Kedzie fell to 16-11.
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