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Strikeforce Challengers – Women’s Welterweight Tournament

I’m actually sort of intrigued for this show, more so than recent Challengers show. There’s some interest in the women’s welterweight tournament. I want to see if Miesha Tate has the goods to become one of the faces of women’s MMA. I also want to see what the baby Natural, Randy Couture’s son Ryan can do as well. Joe Riggs is also in the main event.

Sarah Kaufman is ringside as she’ll face whoever wins the one-night tournament.

The semi-final match-ups are only two rounds, which is pretty bogus. But the reason is because the athletic commission wouldn’t let anyone fight more than 5 rounds in an evening. Thus, if the semi-final fights end in a draw, the judges simply have to pick a winner. Yep, pretty silly.

They are also three minute rounds.

1. Maiju Kujala vs. Miesha Tate

Kujala is the least experienced of all the women. Tate looks in tremendous shape.

The first round was odd. Tate controlled the clinch and had Kujala up against the cage. After half the round, she finally got the takedown. But Kujala had a guillotine in. The referee told the girls to go for submissions or he would stand them up. Kujala did have a submission. And he stood them up anyway.

Kujala’s hands are definitely faster. She’s not as strong as Tate, but she fights at a faster pace. Tate threw two head kicks, but only grazed with one. It was probably Kujala’s round until Tate secured a takedown at the end of it.

The two right, three minute round nonsense is silly. No contender should be decided this way.

Winner: Miesha Tate by decision

2. Carina Damm vs. Hitomi Akano

Mauro Ranallo says Damm was the first female fighter to test positive for steroids. Yikes. I watched Akano fight Cyborg in person and that was a brutal, brutal destruction.

Damm got a takedown early in the round and was working hard on the top, trying to enhance her position. And the referee stood them up, which seemed to anger her. She threw a spinning backfist, but didn’t hit it. The crowd still popped for it more than anything else thus far. Damm went for another takedown, but Akano had her in a headlock and took her down.

In the best exchange of the night so far, Akano was on top and Damm maneuvered to top position, but Akano grabbed an arm and was looking for an arm bar, but Damm figured her way out of it. Then, Akano got high for a triangle and tapped her out.

Winner: Hitomi Akano by way of 2nd round submission

Kaufman thinks Akano is going to beat Tate because she thought Tate looked tired.

3. Lucas Stark vs. Ryan Couture

This was fun. Stark landed a right hand surprised Couture. Couture then stuck a trip takedown. Stark got up and then used a fireman’s carry takedown. Couture immediately put on a triangle and that was all she wrote.

Winner: Ryan Couture by way of 1st round submission

They have some time so they’re showing the women’s reserve bout.

4. Liz Carmouche vs. Colleen Schneider

Carmouche beat her chest like Tarzan coming out. Schneider is 5’9 and looks like a giant compared to Carmouche.

Carmouche was more aggressive and got two takedowns. She wins the first round easily.

Definitely a feistier round. Schneider was trying to throw leg kicks, but not setting them up well. Carmouche continued to rush in and take away her length, but was on the other side of a takedown.

Winner: Liz Carmouche by unanimous decision

5. Hitomi Akano vs. Miesha Tate

Akano was able to turn a Tate takedown attempt into one of her own. Well, she didn’t really take her down as much as she just fell on her. Akano grabbed an ankle lock and held onto it for a little bit. Tate seemed a bit embarrassed after she got out as she decided to try to strike while Akano was on her back and Akano kept her off.

The second round was excellent. Tate was more aggressive in throwing kicks and picking up the pace. She went for a takedown and they both kind of went down with Tate behind her. Akano fought her off well and looked to be trying to grab an arm, but Tate got her back went for a choke. Akano turned her over near the end of the round.

The camera showed Cris Cyborg next to Sarah Kaufman. Though Cyborg fights only 10 pounds higher than Kaufman, she looked 30 pounds heavier.

Tate used the same strategy again. She was able to get Akano down and worked the rear naked choke for over half the round. Both women fought hard. Akano worked hard trying to get out of Tate’s grasp, but Tate rolled with her like it was a scripted wrestling match. Tate ended it strongly with strikes while behind her.

Winner: Miesha Tate by way of unanimous decision

6. Louis Taylor vs. Joe Riggs

The fight is at a 182 pound catch weight.

I’m only writing about the third round here. Riggs got the takedown and crucifixed Taylor’s arms and pounded Taylor out. Taylor’s nose and mouth was bloody. I don’t think I missed much in the first two rounds.

Winner: Joe Riggs by way of 3rd round decision

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