by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Strikeforce recently announced a one-night, four-woman tournament on Aug. 13 in Phoenix to crown the next contender, behind Marloes Coenen, in its women’s welterweight (135-pound) division. But the participation of one of the four fighters is now in doubt.
The tournament is supposed to feature Miesha Tate, Hitomi Akano, Maiju Kujala, and Carina Damm. The pairings will come from a draw at the weigh-ins on Aug. 12.
Damm, however, may not make the cut.
“As has been speculated on various websites, Brazilian Carina Damm is having difficulty obtaining the necessary visa to travel to The United States for her participation in the Strikeforce Challengers event on Friday, Aug. 13,” said Mike Afromowitz, Strikeforce Director of Communications.
If Damm is unable to secure a visa in time, the promotion does already have a back-up plan.
“Strikeforce is working diligently to help Carina secure a visa in time to make the trip for next month’s event,” Afromowitz stated, before adding, “In the event that she is unable to acquire a visa, however, we have identified a qualified replacement for the tournament and will release her name if Carina is officially forced to withdraw from the event.
“This prospective replacement has been in training camp for several weeks and is prepared to take on the task at hand.”
Strikeforce women’s welterweight champion Sarah Kaufman recently defended her belt against Roxanne Modafferi at Strikeforce Challengers 9 in Everett, Wash. She will face Coenen, who is dropping down to 135 pounds after her failed attempt against women’s middleweight (145-pound) champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos, next.
The winner of the four-woman tournament will then challenge the winner of Kaufman and Coenen.