by MMAWeekly.com Staff
Strikeforce on Thursday officially announced its one-night four-woman welterweight tournament for Aug. 13 at the Dodge Theatre in Phoenix.
Miesha Tate, Carina Damm, Hitomi Akano, and Maiju Kujala, as expected, are the four women who will battle it out to become the No. 2 contender in the division.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has stated that the No. 1 contender is already lined up for the winner of Friday night’s fight between champion Sarah Kaufmann and challenger Roxanne Modafferi. Marloes Coenen holds that position.
Although she lost to Strikeforce women’s middleweight (145 pounds) champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos in her most recent fight, Coenen is dropping back down to her more natural weight of 135 pounds, where she has split bouts with Modafferi.
“Marloes has made the move down to welterweight and she will get the next title fight,” Coker said. “She has proven that she belongs in the cage with our champion. So, after the tournament, we’ll have another legitimate contender to challenge for the title.”
The draw to determine the semi-final matchups for the two-round tournament in Phoenix will take place at the weigh-in on Aug. 12. A complete list of tournament rules will be provided in the coming days.
The Showtime telecast (live at 11p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) will begin with the two semi-final bouts. The winners of each bout will compete in the tournament final later that night, just before the main event match-up of Joe Riggs vs. Louis Taylor. Each of the three tournament fights is scheduled for three, three-minute rounds.
“We are going to fast-track these four talented prospects in a quest to determine the best in this deep women’s division,” Coker said. “Having all four women square off on one night with the chance to separate themselves from the pack is what Strikeforce Challengers is all about.”