(You win again, knee brace fetishists. Pic: Fight! Magazine)
Those of you who were waiting to see how many outfits Miesha Tate would bring to Strikeforce: Columbus on March 5 are going to be very disappointed by this news. Unfortunately, Tate is out of her scheduled 135-pound title match with Marloes Coenen after injuring her knee in training, the promotion announced via press release on Wednesday. Instead, undefeated prospect Liz Carmouche will step in as Coenen’s first championship challenger on just 11 days notice.
The injury undoes what was shaping up as a compelling bout between two of Strikeforce’s more popular female fighters. It also renders essentially moot the careful groundwork laid by the one-night welterweight tournament Tate won in August of last year to claim No. 1 contender status. On the bright side, this story will momentarily distract us from the rumored postponement of the company’s next round of heavyweight GP quarterfinal bouts. Win some, lose some, we guess.
Carmouche – who is 6-0 according to Strikeforce, 5-0 on Sherdog — will be making her third appearance for the promotion. Her most recent showing was a third-round TKO victory over official Strikeforce punching bag Jan Finney (God bless her). Nicknamed the “Girl-Rilla” (get it?) Carmouche is a member of the California-based Team Hurricane Awesome, whose official Facebook page refers to itself as “Team Hurricane Awesome MMA Team of Awesomeness,” which makes us think they might be our kind of guys (and girls). If only they could work the word “radical” in there somewhere they could mark us down for a T-shirt.
Prior to taking out Finney, Carmouche notched a unanimous decision win over Colleen Schneider in a reserve bout of that 135-pound tourney won by Tate, so her inclusion here is not totally out of the blue. Her official Strikeforce bio says she began training in MMA during one of her three tours in Iraq as a Marine.
Coenen – as you know – claimed the welterweight title by handing former champ Sarah Kaufman her first career loss via third-round arm bar last October. She is a member of Holland’s Team Golden Glory along with current SF heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
If you need a refresher on the other fights on the card – and frankly we wouldn’t blame you if you did – here’s the skinny straight from the Strikeforce press release:
Dan Henderson (26-8), of Temecula, Calif., will challenge defending champion Rafael “Feijao’’ Cavalcante (10-2), of Brazil, for the STRIKEFORCE World Light Heavyweight (205 pounds) title.
American military hero Tim Kennedy (12-3) of Fort Bragg, N.C., will be opposed by Melvin Manhoef (24-8) , of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, at middleweight (185 pounds) and undefeated Billy Evangelista (11-0) of Fresno, Calif., will take on Jorge Masvidal (20-6) of Miami, Fla., at lightweight (155 pounds) in other televised bouts on SHOWTIME.