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Sarah Kaufman crowned champion with victory over Hashi during Strikeforce Challengers

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2010) – Before a sold out crowd of 2,322, former ballet dancer turned undefeated professional mixed martial arts (MMA) star Sarah Kaufman (11-0) became the first STRIKEFORCE Women’s Welterweight (135 pounds) Champion in history by powering her way to a five-round unanimous decision over Japan’s Takayo Hashi (12-2) in the STRIKEFORCE Challengers main event at San Jose’s Civic Auditorium on Friday, Feb. 26, on SHOWTIME®.

Luke Rockhold (7-1) continued his climb up the middleweight (185 pounds) ladder with a stunning first-round (2:24) TKO over Paul Bradley (12-2).

A middleweight contest between former South African national wrestling champion Trevor Prangley (22-5-1) and France’s Karl Amoussou (11-2-2) ended prematurely after Prangley accidentally poked Amoussou in the eye, leading to a doctor stoppage and technical draw being declared.

From the outset, Kaufman pressed the action with a stiff jab and one-two punch combinations, but was unable to finish Hashi who repeatedly backpedaled her way out of trouble. Kaufman landed her best shots in the first round, dropping Hashi with a straight right hand.

In the third stanza, Kaufman sent Hashi reeling back and nearly put down the Japanese fighter for a second time in the bout with a straight right hand. After a Kaufman jab snapped Hashi’s head back, Hashi responded by shooting for a takedown that Kaufman stuffed.

A chess match ensued for the remainder of the bout. Kaufman continued to score with her hands and right leg kick while Hashi retreated to avoid imminent danger. All three judges scored all five rounds in favor of Kaufman.

In the first round of their much anticipated matchup, Rockhold dropped Bradley with a right hand to the side of the head. Bradley fought his way back to his feet, but Rockhold quickly went on the attack, scoring a head kick and following up with three straight knee strikes to the body.

Badly battered from the series of blows, Bradley turned his back, prompting the referee to immediately stop the action.

As expected, Amoussou came out of the gates firing punches at Prangley, who covered up and countered the Frenchman’s assault with his own hands. Prangley scored a takedown, but was unable to advance his position from half guard.

After the referee stood up the fighters, Prangley, with an open left hand, accidentally poked Amoussou in the right eye. The ringside physician immediately entered the cage and examined Amoussou, who was unable to open his eye, and declared the fighter unable to continue at the 4:14 mark of the first round (According to MMA rules in the state of California, the ringside physician has the discretion to stop a bout in the event that an accidental foul causes an injury).

In other action Yancy Medeiros (5-0) of Waianae, Hawaii dominated Raul Castillo (6-1) at middleweight with continuous flurries throughout the matchup between the unbeaten fighters.

Medeiros stuffed Castillo’s repeated takedown attempts and continued to pour on the punishment with both hands, putting Castillo on the canvas with a right hand in the third round. After an exchange of shots brought the bout to a close, all three judges awarded the fight to Medeiros.

Like Medeiros, Tarec Saffiedine (8-2) maintained an all-out stand up offensive in a welterweight (170 pounds) fight with James Terry (7-2) for three straight rounds, opening a cut on Terry’s lower lip and bringing about a welt under Terry’s left eye.

Terry repeatedly attempted to bring the fight to the mat, but Saffiedine defended the takedowns well and responded with more strikes. After three rounds, Saffiedine was declared a unanimous points winner.
Amongst those in attendance at Civic Auditorium, was MMA’s newest star, football legend Herschel Walker, as well as STRIKEFORCE World Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz, and STRIKEFORCE World Lightweight Champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez.

During an interview with STRIKEFORCE Challengers host Mauro Ranallo, Walker said, “(MMA) is the toughest sport there is. To step in the cage and go mano-a-mano, there’s nothing like it. It is the toughest training I’ve ever done.”

Regarding his future in the sport, the 47-year-old Walker said, “I will leave that up to my team at AKA (American Kickboxing Academy, San Jose) when I get back in the gym. We’ll see if they say I am capable of going again. (If they do), we’ll do it again.”

Complete STRIKEFORCE Challengers Results:

Main Card:

Yancy Medeiros def. Raul Castillo – Unanimous Decision (3 Rounds) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Tarec Saffiedine def. James Terry – Unanimous Decision (3 Rounds) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Luke Rockhold def. Paul Bradley – TKO (knees to the body) – 1st Round (2:24)

Trevor Prangley – Technical Draw – Karl Amoussou (doctor stoppage after unintentional foul ) – 1st Round (4:14)

Sarah Kaufman def. Takayo Hashi – Unanimous Decision (3 Rounds) (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

Preliminary Card:

Ronald Carillo def. Anthony De Los Santos – submission (armbar) – 2nd Round (1:20)

Steve Dickie def. Alan Lummel – TKO (punches) –1st Round (:33)

Renee Robinson def. Lilia Salas – TKO (punches) – 1st Round (1:06)

Jesse Tobar def. Johnson Nguyen – Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – 2nd Round (1:24)

Tristan Arenal def. George Miller – TKO (punches) – 2nd Round (:30)

Samuel Bracamnonte def. Chris Stewart – TKO (punches) – 3rd Round (:59)

Wayne Phillips def. Eric Lawson – Submission (armbar) – 1st Round (4:27)

9 COMMENTS
  • Makington says:

    The main even was frustrating as hell to watch. You had the sense that Kaufman could have ended the fight at ANY time if she only started to commit to her punches, but instead she jabbed her way to a 25 minute decision that was already decided after the first minute.

    Also unfortunately, the Prangley/Amassou fight was stopped in the most disappointing way we could have seen. It was a great fight for the couple minutes it lasted, and it was obvious how disappointed each fighter was.

    Kind of a shaky end to the night that started really strong.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    i agree wholeheartedly. she didnt put ant effort at all in to finishing, even thought he opportunities were there every round. and then she puts her hands up after when shes getting bhooed as if to say “i tried”. no, you didnt.

  • Bad Monkey says:

    Rockhold looked awesome. Definitely looks a like a strong up and comer at 185.

    Kaufman definitely disappointed. She really seemed too cautious just because the fight was for the belt. None of the aggression she’s showed in her past fights. Hopefully they can find someone to really press her in her first defense.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    i would mind seeing a rematch against miesha tate (actually dont ever mind seeing tate lol) she would do much better than she did the first time.

  • Rece Rock says:

    after seeing the match I take back previously suggesting this fight should have been sceduled for the April card… It only would have disapointed on a greater scale…

  • edub says:

    Makington: The main even was frustrating as hell to watch. You had the sense that Kaufman could have ended the fight at ANY time if she only started to commit to her punches, but instead she jabbed her way to a 25 minute decision that was already decided after the first minute.Also unfortunately, the Prangley/Amassou fight was stopped in the most disappointing way we could have seen. It was a great fight for the couple minutes it lasted, and it was obvious how disappointed each fighter was.Kind of a shaky end to the night that started really strong.  (Quote)

    Completely agree with Makes assesment of Kaufman’s bout. Women’s MMA already starts off wiht a handicap because the majority of the target market is men. This fight could’ve done a lot for Kaufman and strikeforce. Instead it reminded me of the first LHW title fight in the UFC. On a side note, both friends I had over for the fights left before the main event finished. I would classify both as casual fans.

    Amoussou looked great with his hands, but it seems he is pretty small for the weight class. When Prangley took him down to side control he looked pretty concerned, and was helped out immensely by an extremely quick stand up. Id like to see Amoussou fight a Kennedy or rockhold and Prangley go up against Jacare. I thought that Prangley was a sleeper to give a loss to Lawler when they were about to fight, but the way he had very little defense for Karl’s punches it seems he would’ve been knocked out in brutal fashion.

    Nevermind I wanna see Amoussou in there with Manhoef. Write that down.

    Luke rockhold has got some power.

  • Guthookd says:

    I’m starting to notice that some of you guys are hard to please.

    I thought Kaufman fought a great fight and showed a perfect balance between caution (after all it was for a title) and aggression. Her style is solid as a rock. KO’s are nice, but there are going to be plenty more fights for her…and I’m personally going to support her through every one of them.

    Go Sarah!!! You sexy bad ass beast of a woman. I think I’m in love.

    :)

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Completly agree with you guthooked, Sara did a great job of beating a very highly ranked opponent, and acually completly dominating her, while Hashi showed a very tough heart out there never looking frustrated and swinging away, it was a very good fight.
    The rest of the card was pretty good also with Rockhold looking very sharp and Prangly looking very tough, although the eye poke looked pretty light to me. Great job by SF I thought.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Edub, I forgot all about that stand up, and most of the ref’s in general were pretty bad. The stand up was way to quick, and I hope its not just me who gets bothered by ref’s telling the fighters they want action every 20 seconds.

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