Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman comes at us live on Showtime this Saturday, August 18 from San Diego, California. The night starts at 8 p.m. (ET) with a quadruple stack of preliminary bouts on Showtime Extreme, featuring faces new and old in the MMA world, who will be trying to solidify their standings in the Strikeforce kingdom. The prelims kick off with Hiroko “Cat’s Eye” Yamanaka (12-1) fresh off her No-Contest with Cris “Cyborg” Santos for the 145-pound women’s title. Make no mistake about it, Yamanaka got beat up in that fight with Santos, and the NC resulted from her opponent getting popped for PEDs. But do not sell “Cat’s Eye” short, as she is a vet of Jewel and Shootbox and will be tough to handle despite opening as a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150). Across the cage from her will be MMA newcomer Germaine de Randamie (2-2) who opened as the -200 favorite (bet $200 to win $100) according to the MMA odds. The “Iron Lady” has had a mixed career, but without a doubt, she is a challenge for any woman at 145 pounds. Expect this fight to be a game of Yamanaka trying to use her experience against Germaine’s physicality. Following that opening fight, 25-year-old Adlan Amagov (9-2) will meet Keith “KO Kid” Berry (11-9) in a Strikeforce middleweight bout. Amagov was on a rocket-fueled rise through the Strikeforce middleweight ranks, displaying his KO power and Russian nonchalance for throwing leather in the cage, until his skull met Robbie Lawler’s flying knee last January. Meanwhile, the “KO Kid” boasts incredible knockout power of his own, hence the nickname. This fight is probably going to be exactly what an action-hungry MMA fan wants, with both men willing to do what it takes to get the knockout. Amagov will probably outclass Berry in most categories, including in the clinch, where he will be able to overwhelm Berry if he gets into trouble. Amagov opened as a heavy -550 favorite against Berry (+350), who could struggle with this step up in competition. Next up is a battle of lightweights between Bobby “King” Green (18-5) and MMA newcomer Matt Ricehouse (6-0). Back in Affliction, a 21-year-old Green famously brandished his fighting style “Hood” against Dan Lauzon, as he was deducted two points in the first round of their fight for some dirty moves and ended up losing to the more experienced opponent. Now, four years later and and with a more evolved fight game, Green (-145) is ready to make the next step into the big leagues with Strikeforce giving him that chance. Green’s opponent Ricehouse is the same age and 3-0 in the Strikeforce cage, and what he lacks in experience, he makes up with in ring-savvy and an unteachable understanding of how to always grind out a win. Ricehouse (+115) handed Ryan Couture his first pro loss and also went 7-1 on the amateur circuit. The last Strikeforce prelim bout before the main card begins will feature former bantamweight champ Miesha Tate (12-3), coming off the title-losing, arm-snapping setback to Ronda Rousey back on March 3, against veteran women’s 135-pounder Julie Kedzie (16-10). Tate is coming back from what was an injured arm, but somehow it healed quickly and well enough for her to take a fight that she should win fairly easily. Kedzie (+300) has been around for a while, garnering wins over solid opponents such as Jan Finney and Kaitlin Young over the past few years. But the eight-year vet will likely be overmatched by Tate, who opened as a big -500 favorite against her.
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