by MMAWeekly.com Staff
Strikeforce on Thursday announced will bring its Challengers fight series home to The Civic Auditorium in San Jose, Calif., on Feb. 26.
Topping the card will be a middleweight contest between Trevor Prangley (22-5) and Karl Amoussou (11-2-1). Undefeated power puncher Sarah Kaufman (10-0) will challenge Japan’s Takayo Hashi (12-1) in the first Strikeforce women’s world bantamweight (135 pounds) championship match-up in history, while Luke Rockhold (6-1), one of MMA’s brightest up and comers, will take on Paul Bradley (12-1) at middleweight.
Prangley, a former national wrestling champion for South Africa who ventured to the United States years ago in order to further his wrestling career, will put on the line a five-fight winning streak. The 37-year-old finished as runner-up in Strikeforce’s four-man tournament, the first sanctioned single elimination MMA event in California state history.
The 24-year-old Amoussou, known for his devastating knockout power and unorthodox fighting style, hails from France and is an expert in Judo, as well as Savate. He brings a three-fight win streak with him to the Strikeforce cage.
Kaufman is a 24-year-old former professional ballet dancer who stumbled upon MMA after a martial arts school opened underneath her dance studio in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Her mellow demeanor outside the cage is a stark contrast to her ferocity inside it, which has helped her knock out eight of her 10 opponents.
In her last effort, Kaufman earned a unanimous decision over Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler during the Strikeforce Challengers event at Kent Washington’s ShoWare Center on June 19, 2009.
The 32-year-old Hashi of Honbu, Tokyo, is a former champion of Japan’s Smackgirl MMA promotion.
Since suffering the only defeat of her career to Hitomi Akano on Aug. 17, 2005, Hashi has reeled off eight straight victories, including a revenge win over Akano on Sept. 6, 2007.
In other action, James Terry (7-1) of San Jose will square off with Tarec Saffiedine (7-2) of Temecula, Calif., in a welterweight bout, while Raul Castillo (6-0) of Half Moon Bay, Calif., will face fellow unbeaten middleweight Yancy Medeiros (4-0) of Waianae, Hawaii.
San Jose Civic Auditorium doors will open for the Strikeforce event at 5:15 p.m. PT. The first preliminary bout will begin at 6:00 p.m. and the first main card bout will begin at 8.00 p.m.
The live Showtime telecast of the Strikeforce Challengers event will begin at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).