COLUMBUS, Ohio - (Rowdy) Ronda Rousey used her trademark armbar to dethone Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha (Takedown) Tate in a high-profile women's MMA main event Saturday night at the Nationwide Arena.
Tate's arm was bent at an abnormal angle before she finally tapped at four minutes 27 seconds of the first round.
"She's good, she's legit but I don't feel that bad about it," Rousey said of the nasty submission win.
Rousey, a former Olympic judo bronze medallist who has won all five of her fights in the first round via armbar, is expected to take on former champion Sarah Kaufman of Victoria next.
Tate came out swinging but Rousey tripped her early. Rousey seemed to have locked in the armbar but Tate somehow escaped.
Tate pulled Rousey down and looked to take her back. Rousey scrambled free and got back to her feet.
After a brief exchange on the feet, Rousey used a judo hip toss to take the champion down. Rousey moved into mount, transitioning to an armbar. Tate tried to resist but Rousey got the submission hold and started cranking the arm.
It bent and bent before Tate finally tapped.
"It's a little sore," Tate said later of the arm.
Strikeforce had made the most of the looks of Tate (12-3) and Rousey (5-0), bidding to add some glam to the women's side of the sport.
Rousey's four previous fights had lasted a total of two minutes 18 seconds.
On the undercard, Kaufman (15-1) won a bloody 29-28, 29-28, 29-29 majority decision over Alexis Davis (11-5) of Port Colborne, Ont., in an all-action bout.
"I was really impressed by her performance, with both of them," said Rousey. "I'm really glad to see the ladies bring it."
The win moves Kaufman into a title shot that she felt she deserved over Rousey. And she wasted little time after the fight, showing what she thought of the marketing of the main event.
"I knew she (Davis) was going to come in tough, she was going to come and fight and that's what you want to see, right? A fight," Kaufman asked the crowd afterwards. "You don't want to see two girls parading around, not fighting, just talking.
"I'm going to come, I'm going to fight, I'm going to have that title. It's my title. So look out who has it."
Davis, a jiu-jitsu brown belt, enraged Kaufman in a striking battle to open the round. She delivered some shots but took the more punishing blows and was cut over the left eye, prompting the referee to stop the fight midway through the round to have the doctors inspect the damage.
The fight went on and Davis cut Kaufman. Both women were bleeding as the round ended.
It was more of the same in the second with Kaufman winning the standup battle. Davis landed some good kicks but her face was in bad shape by the end of the round.
"Looks like Sarah wants her belt back real bad," said Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, who was watching cageside.
Davis took Kaufman down midway in the third round but lost position looking for an armbar. Davis reversed position but was unable to secure a submission.
Kaufman stopped Davis by TKO when they first met in 2007.
In other action, Japanese welterweight Kazuo Misaki (25-11-2) scored a 30-27, 28-29, 29-28 split decision over England's Paul (Semtex) Daley (27-12-2).
Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson (19-3-1) used his wrestling to score a 29-28 unanimous win over K.J. Noons (10-4).
For the much-injured Thomson, it was his first fight since a December 2010 loss to Tatsuya Kawajiri. He was not pleased despite the win, saying staph infections during his training had affected his conditioning and performance.