Congratulations to #1 ranked 135 pounder Sarah Kaufman, who won the first ever Strikeforce Welterweight title. It wasn’t an exciting match, with Kaufman and Hashi keeping it on their feet. Kaufman was able to knock down Hashi a few times, with Kaufman having excellent takedown defense in the later rounds. Kaufman admitted that it was hard to land combinations on Hashi, but it was her jab that put her over the top. Kaufman wins with a five round unanimous decision 50-45 on all scorecards.
Scott Coker stated in an interview that 125 pound division would be in the works for Strikeforce in the near future. Coker has been courting #4 ranked 125 pounder and who some considered the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world Tara LaRosa, who has been unwilling to move to the heavily overcrowded 135 pound division. This could also open up opportunities for fighters like #1 ranked 125 pounder Rosi Sexton, #3 ranked Ash “The Bash” Daly, and #2 ranked Carina Damm to coming to the U.S. to compete.
Speaking on Carina Damm, she defeated Aline Sergio via GNP in the first round at Jungle Fights 16.
There was an upset in the 145 pound division as Amanda Nunes defeated #8 ranked 145er Ediene Gomes via GNP in the 2nd round at Bitetti Combat 6 in Brazil. This may move Nunes up in the ranks and the win could propel her into the Strikeforce 145 tourney this summer.
The other two ranked 145 pounders were unable to see action this weekend, #9 Revelina “Nana” Berto’s opponent Yvonne Reis never showed up to her match, and #5 ranked Kelly Kobold suffered an injury and couldn’t compete. Depending on the severity of the injury, Kobold may not fight in the 145 Strikeforce tournament in June.
#2 ranked 115 pounder Miku Matsumoto announced her retirement over the weekend. Matsumoto (23-4) was the DEEP lightweight champion and has been undefeated in her last 12 fights. No reason was given. Matsumoto was hoping to fight #1 ranked Megumi Fujii in the near future, but with her withdraw, the new #2 is more than likely be either #3 ranked Yuka Tsjuii or #4 ranked Lisa Ward.
Golden Glory MMA has announced they will be holding two 4 women tournaments on March 27 in Deventer, Netherlands in the 135 and 145 pound divisions. It will be a one night semi-finals and finals to select two European representatives to Strikeforce’s Women’s Grand Prix. Strikeforce is set to do their tournaments starting in April for the 135 pounders, and in June for the 145 pounders.
Amateur Shooto champion Lena Buytendijk has already been announced to take part in the “Upcoming Glory” 145 pound tournament as well as Romy Ruyssen and Sheila Gaff. One more name has yet to be announced for the for the 145 pound tournament.
#7 ranked 145 pounder Cindy Dandois is unlikely to take part, seeing she has a scheduled contest on March 27 for M-1 and her stating that there is a good chance Strikeforce will be inviting her to the June tournament. M-1 still hasn’t found her a replacement after her scheduled opponent dropped out to be in the Golden Glory tournament.
The only participant named for the 135 pound tournament is Maiju Kujala. We will update you with more participants next week.
Debi Purcell, owner of Fightergirls and MMA competitor, was on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club this week, and you can watch her teach K-Fed, Shar Jackson, and Bobby Brown some moves on the Fightergirls.com media page. Plus a bonus clip not seen on TV is there as well.
The only ranked fighter competing this weekend will be #7 ranked 115 pounder Jessica Aguilar facing Valerie Coolbaugh at AFL: Rumble at the Rock 2 in Hollywood, FL.
Next week we will break down the new rankings and get more information about all the women’s MMA tournaments coming up.
Kaufman Dominates, Crowned Strikeforce Champ
By: MarQ Piocos, News Editor