by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The search to find a top contender in the Strikeforce women’s welterweight (135-pound) division will start and finish with a one night, four-woman tournament on Aug 13 in Phoenix.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker appeared on MMAWeekly.com Radio and said that the company is planning two tournaments: one in the 135-pound weight class and another in the 145-pound weight class, but the lower weight division will go first.
“It will be in August,” Coker confirmed for the 135-pound tournament.
The other big piece of news, beyond the victor earning a shot at the winner of the upcoming bout between current champion Sarah Kaufman and challenger Roxanne Modafferi, is the announcement that it will be a one-night tournament. The top four contenders in the division will be paired up and battle it out until only one is left standing.
The promotion has confirmed that the tournament will take place on August 13 in Phoenix. Still no confirmation at this time of the participants, but rumors have surfaced that Marloes Coenen and Carina Damm will be involved as two of the fighters.
Another fight announced for the August 13 card is former UFC fighter Joe Riggs returning to action to face Louis Taylor in a 182lb catchweight bout.
As far as the women’s tournament, one name that won’t be included is Tara LaRosa, once widely considered the top pound-for-pound woman in the sport. Coker said Modafferi earned her title shot by beating LaRosa at the recent Moosin MMA show in Massachusetts, but they did not invite the Philadelphia based fighter to participate in the tournament.
“I don’t think we’ve invited her to the tournament, no,” said Coker.
Kaufman and Modafferi square off later this month at a Strikeforce Challengers show in Washington. The winner will await the tournament champion from the August event.