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Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman sizes up women’s welterweight tournament

PRESS RELEASE / Phoenix, AZ (Aug. 11, 2010) – There is a very strong possibility that Strikeforce women’s welterweight (135 pounds) champ Sarah Kaufman will be watching a future opponent during the first-ever Strikeforce women’s single-elimination tournament at Strikeforce Challengers on Friday, Aug. 13, at Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., live on Showtime.

Kaufman will be on hand to watch as Strikeforce women’s welterweight contenders Miesha “Takedown” Tate, Carina “Beauty But The Beast” Damm, Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano, and Maiju Kujala compete in the tournament. She likes the idea and is looking forward to the night of fights.

“I think it’s a real interesting concept,” said the undefeated Kaufman, who will also sign autographs for fans along with Strikeforce Women’s middleweight (145 pounds) champ Cris Cyborg at the official weigh-in. “It has to be tough to have to train for potentially three different opponents. But at the same time when you train you should be training everything anyway. Hopefully you’re at a level where you can tweak what game plan you are going to go with.”

A draw to determine the semifinal match-ups for the two-round tournament will take place at the weigh-in on Thursday. The tournament winner will become the official No. 2 contender in the Strikeforce women’s welterweight division.

The winners of each semifinal bout on Friday will face off in the tournament final later that night, just before the main event match-up between Joe “Diesel” Riggs (32-12) and Louis Taylor (6-1) that will be fought at a catch weight of 182 pounds.

Kaufman said she expects to see all four women use their ground fighting skills and that there isn’t a dominant striker amongst the quartet. She sized up each of the four women who will fight on Friday:

Miesha Tate: “She’s definitely known as a wrestler. I think all the girls will use their wrestling but I think Miesha especially will use the entire cage and angle for the takedown and try to get a finish and control from the ground.

Carina Damm: “She is known for her unorthodox striking. She is coming up in weight so it will be interesting to see how she does against the heavier girls. She does a lot of showboating and uses some Capoeira. I think she uses that to mentally throw her opponents off. So we’ll see if she uses that. I’m not really sure where her strong suit is but I would say it’s on the ground.”

Hitomi Akano: “She has amazing judo and I know she works with Josh Barnett. All the Japanese girls are tough competitors and just don’t quit. So I expect Hitomi to be tough to beat.”

Maiju Kujala: “She’s probably the best striker of the group. I haven’t seen a lot of her and she remains the mystery girl of the four. She has described herself as a slow fighter so I’m interested to see what she’ll bring to the cage on Friday.”

  • Dufresne says:

    Why don’t the women use the same weight class names as men? It’s kinda confusing when I hear/read “welterweight” and then see “135 pound” when 95% of the time WW means 170.

    I always look forward to the women’s events because they always bring the fight regardless of the weight class (or the name of the weight class). I think it’s kinda odd to see a women’s tourney where there are more ground fighters than standup fighters. It’s kinda like watching the evolution of men’s MMA all over again.
    Everyone wanted to win via KO at first, but then we saw how effective wrestling and BJJ are and everyone switched to that for a while. Next I expect we’ll see women’s fighters in the mold of Hendo and Randy who have solid wrestling, but instead of relying soley on the takedown and GnP for the win they’ll use they’re wrestling to dictate where the fight takes place to avoid the strength of their opponent.

    It’s great to be an MMA fan these days.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I love this concept, SF really stepped up with the whole womens division. Kaufmann also has a very tough fight coming up against Marleos, who is as tough as they come and I belive can match strength with Sarah. I cant wait for this one. I think Meisha wins the tournament.

  • Rece Rock says:

    SF should have focused on the womens division and the Challenger series above all else and they wouldn’t be on this uncertain path they are now…….. either way progress is progress i guess in the bizzare world of SF.

  • Guthookd says:

    I wish Bellator could trade all their male heavyweights for this group of female welterweights.

    I’m still waiting for one of the promotions to focus 100% on women’s MMA. That company will be my new favorite.


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