(Hashi celebrates after choking out Chisa Yonezawa last April. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
Now that Strikeforce has gotten their heads out of their asses and made the 135-pound title fight between Sarah Kaufman and Takayo Hashi the headlining match at this Friday’s Challengers show, it’s time to ask ourselves: Wait, who’s Takayo Hashi again? Well, according to the Unified Women’s Mixed Martial Arts Rankings, she’s the #2-ranked 135-pounder in the world, directly behind Kaufman. The 32-year-old Wajyutsu Keisyukai product holds a record of 12-1 (eight wins by decision, four by submission, none by KO/TKO), competing primarily in Japan’s now-defunct Smackgirl promotion. Her only loss came against Hitomi "Girlfight Monster" Akano in August 2005, and Hashi won a rematch two years later.
Hashi is primarily known as a grappler, and is backed by some impressive credentials. She placed third in her weight class at the 2007 ADCC’s, and picked up the title of "Grappling Queen" in Smackgirl’s open-weight division. In a recent interview, Hashi had some strong words for her opponent:
"I am fully aware that she is very strong and dangerous. She is aggressive and she doesn’t back pedal, and strikes hard. She has got a stamina too, so I think she is a very tough fighter. As you can see from her professional record, she is a tough fighter to beat, but that also became my motivation because I am always looking forward to face a strong fighter. I imagine, overall, it’s going to be a striking battle. If she has got a pride in her striking ability then I would like to crush that pride by striking against her. If this fight hits the ground, then I will show my pride in the ground game. In all aspect of this fight, I will not back off. So, for sure, this is going to be an extremely tough fight. Just as like my other fights, my approach is to break my opponent’s heart."
Videos of three of Takayo’s fights are after the jump…