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Strikeforce Challengers 10 Aftermath: Tate Wins 135-Pound Tourney that Feels Like It’s On Fast-Forward

(One night, two wins, two different outfits. How are the men supposed to compete with that? PicProps: Strikeforce)

In theory, I was in favor of Strikeforce’s 135-pound women’s tournament on Friday night. At this point in MMA’s development, tournaments feel like a nostalgic throwback to our wild, misspent youth. They’re like that one friend we all have who just turned 30 and now insists on drinking two beers and talking about how crazy he was back in college. More specifically, I was hopeful that this particular tourney would brings some much-needed forward momentum and excitement to SF’s female welterweight division, where right now even the champ doesn’t especially want to be there. In practice however, not so much.

In reality, the truncated fights, overall lack of sizzle and a field that felt from the start like Miesha Tate and three also-rans all conspired to make the tournament a bit of a nonevent. Tate won the whole thing in a little less than two hours, Strikeforce strapped a belt on her (Really? A belt? For that?) and then we all went off and did other things. It all happened so fast that play-by-play shouter Mauro Ranallo looked like he didn’t even bother to shave before he went on the air. That alone should tell you something.

Tate, who may have made MMA history by pulling off a wardrobe change between tournament bouts, stumbled through a stagnant two-round decision over the inexperienced Maiju Kujala in the opening round and then claimed the judges’ verdict over Hitomi Akano after a decent, back-and-forth three-round fight in the final. For her part, Akano had earlier bested former steroid loser Carina Damm in the opening round.

It was all OK, I guess. Could’ve been worse. Strikeforce managed to steer clear of the unpredictability that has plagued MMA tournaments in the past. There could, for example, have been an injury that forced either Liz Carmouche or Colleen Schneider into the draw after Carmouche won a reserve bout so tedious it made the average Jon Fitch performance seem thrilling by comparison. That would’ve been a disaster.

In the end, Strikeforce got what it wanted, as it is now able to position the reasonably talented, reasonably attractive Tate for a meeting with the winner of Sarah Kaufman’s future title defense against Marloes Coenen. But the shortened nature of the bouts just felt too awkward. Two three-minute rounds isn’t enough time for a real MMA fight.  It made things feel rushed and the action by turns seem excruciatingly boring and/or like it never had the chance to get going.

You can’t really lay that at the feet of the athletes. They were all game and all turned in passable performances. At the same time, the whole affair illustrated one other major problem with women’s MMA in general. To quote “The Wire’s” Michael Lee, everybody’s just too motherfucking friendly.

Maybe I’m still high from Chael Sonnen’s crazymouthed hype job for UFC 117, but it’s starting to feel like a drag whenever a female MMA fighter is asked about her next opponent and the first words out of her mouth are: “She’s amazing!” It could just be me, but I think the time fast approaches when we’ll be in need of a female fighter who tries to market herself in way that doesn’t involve propagating some kind of “we’re all in this together” crap. At this point, I might argue that what the ladies need most is a little trash talk.

Also, still no sign of Jan Finney, which is a shame …

Cagepotato Comments

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WalksInTheDarkness- August 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm
Oh, and by the way, Aoki changed his tights between fights in the DREAM light weight tournament final!
skates- August 16, 2010 at 7:39 am
where are the miesha pics and gifs?

bring em
stopdrinkingpee- August 15, 2010 at 9:51 am
I think the average televised women's MMA fight is more entertaining than the average televised men's MMA fight. Akano's win over Damm was pretty good, I thought. The three-minute rounds were definitely a bummer. Let's all agree not to do that again.
KingZipperhed- August 14, 2010 at 11:22 pm
fbf says : that any time she liked, she could flip you on your face and jam a dildo up yer ass
fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap
thats fuckin hot fbf thx straight in the bank
KingZipperhed- August 14, 2010 at 11:17 pm
chad buddy no offense but you are reasonably attractive (the vanilla ice photo we've seen it remember) meisha is fuckin bangin yyyyeeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh!!!!! me likey me likey a lot
KingZipperhed- August 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm
Wow, not to jump on the wtf are you talking about reasonably attractive bandwagon but meisha is a fuckin hottie. She can (insert any submission move where my face and or groin is close to any part of her body) me anytime.
fatbellyfrank- August 14, 2010 at 9:56 pm
@frndlylion, yeah, there would always be that fear factor, you would also have to deal with the knowledge, that any time she liked, she could flip you on your face and jam a dildo up yer ass, and theres nothin you could do to stop it , other than that, it would be pretty cool to be nailin her.
frndlylion- August 14, 2010 at 9:33 pm
Those shorts Miesha Tate was wearing in the first fight proved beyond a doubt that she has one of the finest asses on the planet.

The problem as I see it is if you hook up with a chick like her but, don't satisfy her she is tough enough to make you pay for it.

Thats a lot of pressure.
fatbellyfrank- August 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm
reasonably attractive!!!!!, reasonably fucken attractive, now you've gone to far, not sure what universe your in CD but in mine shes fucken hot, and I would do all those nasty things we normally read about in the comments to her without a moments hesitation MMMMMMM,Meisha.
On a side note, Oddball Narwhal, Meisha is the least attractive? you got a condo next to Chad right.
We also all need to remember it wasn't the girls who came up with the shitty fight formats, questions need to be asked about the Boxing commision that insisted on the 2 round formats, and the organisation that allowed it to happen. We had four fairly decent MMA athletes out there and it was like they were just told at the last minute" Oh, there only 2 rounds, so basically exhibition bouts".
fatbellyfrank- August 14, 2010 at 9:23 pm
ccman, definitely out in front of the chasin pack with a couple of beauties, had me ROFL, props my friend
Ballkick- August 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm
I am somewhat leaning towards the Strikeforce people placating Kauffman by giving her lots of "face-time" on the tube to stroke her ego.
I should be more supportive of my fellow Canuck, but honestly she came off so sweet, I had to go brush my teeth after every interview.
Something tells me she is never that happy or that enthusiastic about other females.....most women I have encountered in my life,...usually exchanged the kind of glances women use when no knife is handy.
ghostboner- August 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm
@weirdo horny fish - You dumb. Go to kitchen, ask woman where sammiches. Bring back keg. Also, you're trying to tell me that the asian chick is hotter than M.Tate? Uhhhh...
Oddball Narwhal- August 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm
Even with the abbreviated fights I was looking forward to this tournament. Between this and the awesome-sauce Bellator card the night before, it could have been one of the biggest weekends so far for Women's MMA in the US. But thanks to officiating that only Josh Rosenthal could approve of (does he own a fat suit and a wig?) and the tourney-trope of the "Anointed One" (starring Miesha Tate), we ended up with two great girl fights on Bellator and at least two Strikeforce matches that had potential but fizzled.

The ladies did the best they could with the cards they were dealt. All six of the fighters had good showings. Kujala's submission on Tate in round one of their fight showed how bad stand-ups for "non-action" can pull victory from the jaws of an upset. Also, as a note to Strikeforce, one of your champions should not have to beg for a spot on a card to defend a title.

I have been visiting Cage Potato for awhile now and I am usually struck by how well informed (in general) the writers and commenters are. After reading some of the above posts, I think I might have to do a quick sum-up in "Knuckle dragging-frat boy-Brock Lesnar fan" speak: Women fight good too. Me know you threatened by girls who could beat you up, but me know too it was bad card. Me know you prefer keg stands and farm animals, but me think that women good for more than be pregnant and be objects.

On a side note: Tate was the least attractive lady on the card. I normally like my sex and violence to be separate, but as a straight young-ish male if you put women in a situation like that I am obligated to look. This doesn't mean that pretty fighters are the best (except for GSP of course) but, you know, it's hard not to enjoy competent women in revealing clothing.
ghostboner- August 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm
I agree on the short rounds being bullshit. Sorry ladies but you wanted equality and I think you should have it. 3 rounds at 5 min each or GTFO. DO YOU WANNA BE A FUCKIN (WOMAN) FIGHTER?? I also agree on reasonably attractive. The body on that chick is hot, the face is hot too, but I would still rather have Marloes. So in my book that makes her reasonably attractive.
ghostboner- August 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm
Jake Shields is so boring I would rather watch the Strikeforce 135 womens tourney.
MoTropolis- August 14, 2010 at 2:04 pm
Hahahahahaha...make the cage look like a kitchen. Thats some funny shit right there.
ccman- August 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm
I think they should make the girls fights more real. toss the last pair of cute shoes in the middle of the ring and let em go after em.

Can even make the cage look like a kitchen and make em carry a 9 mo old in a carrier to add realism.
Mr_Misanthropy- August 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm
Dundas you pirate hooker.
ccman- August 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm
Why are they allowed to fight dressed again?
MoTropolis- August 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm
Did some chicks get into a fight last night or something? And where is this shitty club "Strikeforce Challengers" located anyway? What a dumb name for a bar.
BEAM- August 14, 2010 at 11:09 am
Akano's intro music was bordering on surreal. You have got to love the Japanese.

Also, throwing it ringside for live interviews with Kaufmann every ten seconds was really lame, and she eventually began to sound like Miss Teen South Carolina. I felt kinda bad for her but hopefully that was a Showtime producer's idea and not something Strikeforce actually planned. It's supposed to be a fight, not an episode of Maury.

BeastUnleashed- August 14, 2010 at 10:46 am
Anyone got any gifs of Tate's goodies.
jimbonics- August 14, 2010 at 10:41 am
I didn't watch the whole thing... but I noticed a lack of Gus Johnson. Could Strikeforce be trending in the right direction?
Anhonestmoose- August 14, 2010 at 10:30 am
I would also like to lodge my complaint about the reasonably attractive comment. I would pay to watch her do anything.


That's definitely going in the rotation.
glassjawsh- August 14, 2010 at 10:01 am
danomite beat me to it but it bears repeating. you lost me with the whole reasonably attractive bit. that chick is at least an 8 and prolly likes it dirty....real dirty......she looks like the kind of girl that would want you to pull her hair as hard as you could while mounting her in the rear naked crucifix position and burn her scalp with cigarettes while she cries about that time when she was 5 and she walked in to her parents room while her daddy was playing "just the tip" with the 15 year old babysitter from down the block.