Who could have guessed the debut of a new UFC division would be overshadowed by a women's title fight, in Strikeforce, no less.
But it was, and at least for now, the landscape of mixed martial arts appears to have evolved dramatically. Ronda Rousey's gruesome victory over Miesha Tate was a performance that captivated the MMA community unlike any women's match since 2009, and now "Rowdy" Ronda has become what Gina Carano was supposed to be.
Though lets not overstate the situation. WMMA obviously has a long road ahead of it. But with the help of a bona fide star -- a 25-year-old with Olympic pedigree, unquestionable ferocity, and Sonnen-esque skills on the mic -- the horizon suddenly looks a whole lot brighter. Catch up with the entire Rousey-Tate aftermath, as well as the UFC's flyweight tourney fallout with the Morning Report.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Ronda Rousey calls title win 'big deal' for women's MMA. Ronda Rousey spoke to Ariel Helwani about her championship performance over Miesha Tate, her trademark armbar, and what her sudden rise means for women's MMA. And if you missed out, do yourself a favor and check out all the electrifying Strikeforce video highlights.
A short list of the most savage armbars in MMA history. Following Rousey's dramatic victory on Saturday night, Ben Thapa put together a GIF-fest of a feature, asking whether we just witnessed the greatest MMA armbar of all time.
Strikeforce fighter Brandon Saling in question for Neo-Nazi tattoos and criminal past. Internet detectives discovered the rather unsavory past of Strikeforce undercard fighter Brandon Saling, including Neo-Nazi tattoos and a police charge "in connection with an alleged rape of a person under 13."
Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson a ruled a draw. The UFC's flyweight tournament hit a snag when Australian commission representative Craig Waller incorrectly totaled the scores for Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall. According to Dana White, a rematch is currently in the works.
Strikeforce: Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier set for May 19. Over a year after its inception, the end is finally in sight for Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix.
On August 6, 2010, at a quiet show in Oxnard, California, Ronda Rousey made her MMA debut fighting against Hayden Munoz. I think you know the story from there.
If you were spacing out during Friday's UFC on FX 2 broadcast, you probably missed out on this goosebump-inducing Jon Jones promo that had everyone talking. (HT: Middle Easy)
And just as we enter the UFC's upcoming six-week vacation, Bellator graciously steps in to fill our violence void. If you weren't excited for Season 6, I dare you to watch this Michael Chandler teaser and not change your mind.
MMA Fighting's own Luke Thomas stopped by MMA Uncensored Live to drop some knowledge on the Dakota Cochrane and Rampage Jackson situations.
IAN MCCALL, DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON AND THE WONDERFUL AUSTRALIAN ATHLETIC COMMISSION
Mcall loss via having awesome mustache, robbed could at least do a sudden death, way to be screwed, love judges?— Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) March 3, 2012
How was the last round not a 10-8? Mighty mouse was finished if the bell didnt ring— Patrick Healy (@BamBamHealy) March 3, 2012
What a crazy roller coaster of emotions. Thank you to all the people who helped me I love you all. FOTN bonus helps take the sting off a bit— ian mccall (@Unclecreepymma) March 3, 2012
ROY NELSON WILL DROP TO LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT IF YOU FRIEND HIM ON FACEBOOK
Bet is I will try to get to 205 if I can add 100k to Facebook.com/RoyNelsonUFC in two weeks. I love to win bets.... fb.me/16yMoPVPm— Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) March 5, 2012
@seanmcc87 45lbs pounds— Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) March 5, 2012
THE WEEKEND WITH SASQUATCH HERMAN
Started my new diet today. I had 10 toaster strudels for lunch.— Dave Herman (@davehermanmma) March 3, 2012
Announced over the weekend (Friday, March 2, 2012 - Sunday, March 4, 2012):
- Strikeforce: Josh Barnett (31-5) vs. Daniel Cormier (9-0) confirmed for May 19
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day goes to BE's fightbot: 5 reasons Tate/Rousey was a perfect fight
1. It didn't kill the tension with Tate
After the fight you could see Mauro fishing for the 'It was all for marketing' line from Ronda. I'm glad she didn't oblige him. Before the fight I wrote that I didn't want Ronda to kill the tension between her and Miesha should she win, and why that was so important. She didn't disappoint. She has great storytelling instincts. The shortline is that by not saying it was all for show/hype/marketing, it doesn't kill the tension between them. Which is good because Tate is bound to get a rematch one day. And if Ronda had said it was all for show after the first fight, it'd be a tough sell to get us amped for the rematch.
But this way there's still unfinished business, there's still a lot of issues between them that can make for a great story in the inevitable rematch.
She's gonna catch a lot of flack for it from some people, but I feel those people are shortsighted. It's not like she rubbed Miesha's face in it (well within her right to do), she just refused to apologize for her actions. Own that s***.
Found something entertaining, brutal, or bizarre you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just send it to @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.