If there was one division that is considered the most competitive, it is the Bantamweight. Strikeforce has been recruiting heavily for 135 pounders with four of the top ten already signed.
With the arguably best woman in MMA Tara LaRosa dropping to 125, the world’s number one is the undefeated Sarah Kaufman. The unstoppable Kaufman has been a force in her first eight fights with the last two going the distance with two ranked fighters, #10 ranked Miehsa Tate and #4 Shayna Baszler. Both are great grapplers and Tate was the first to take Kaufman off her feet. Kaufman is an accurate striker and her first eight fights were wins by knockouts. It has been rumored that the upcoming fight between Kaufman and #2 Takayo Hashi in Strikeforce will be for the 135 pound title.
Takayo Hashi is a submission expert and has only fought outside of Japan once. She has gone the distance most of her career, with eight decision victories and four submissions. Her only loss was to #6 ranked Hitomi Akano, a loss she has yet to avenge. (Akano was defeated by 145 pounder Cyborg Santos earlier this year.)
Roxanne Modafferi has taken the number three spot as this Gaijin in Japan has racked up 6 straight victories until her loss to a heavier Marloes Coenen in the 145 division this past month. The American born Modafferi is highly admired for her grappling skills and don’t let her looks fool you, she is a submission machine. She has been working with #1 ranked Flyweight, Megumi Fujii, on some new techniques that will quickly propel her in the division.
Submission specialist, Shayna Baszler, is the number four ranked fighter. Baszler is coming off a second place win this past Saturday at the Fila World Grappling Championships; her innovative submission style will take spectators by surprise. This Josh Barnett trained fighter is a world class grappler and took Sarah Kaufman the distance early this year at a ”Strikeforce Challengers” card.
The number five ranked fighter Vanessa Porto (now 10-4) was just upset this past weekend, as she lost via TKO to unranked Amanda Nunes in Brazil over the weekend. Hitomi Akano (15-6) and Jenn Tate (4-1) are both in line to take the fifth spot.
Next week we will talk about the 125 pound division and who is considered by most critics as the number one pound for pound fighter in the world Tara LaRosa.
The 135 Division as Deep as They Come
By: MarQ Piocos, News Editor