(“Don’t move, Gina. This is how we’ll get mainstream acceptance.”)
Strikeforce hasn’t announced when Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos will next defend her belt, and according to the dominant women’s middleweight champion, it’s not because she isn’t ready. It’s because she doesn’t have a contract.
Cyborg told Tatame recently that her contract ran out after her last fight with Jan Finney last June and she hasn’t spoken with Scott Coker and company about re-signing with the recently Zuffa-acquired promotion in the nine months since the bout.
“Currently I don’t have a contract signed, but on my former contract there was something saying that for a year I’m connected to the [promotion] but we might sign a new one. I believe the fact that the UFC bought Strikeforce is a good thing for women, because we have two years to do a good job and prove them our value — to prove it to Dana White,” she explains. “I’m not anxious and I’m not worried. I’m happy and I keep on training.”
The icy glares of Nick Diaz and KJ Noons that have been haunting the top of our homepage all day should serve as a firm reminder — Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II goes down tomorrow night on Showtime, starting at 10 p.m. Be sure to come back tomorrow for round-by-round results in our liveblog. In the meantime, check out the final thoughts from a few of the main card players in these clips from strikeforcefilms.
Above:Marloes Coenen and Sarah Kaufman discuss their 135-pound title scrap. 135 is an unfamiliar weight class for Coenen, but she’s had no problem with the cut, and as you can see during the face-off at the end, she’ll be carrying a serious height advantage.
After the jump: KJ Noons talks about his own trip to a new weight class, and his appreciation of Diaz’s style. Nick Diaz gives him props for taking the rematch, and suggests that he might not have been motivated in their first fight, due to Noons’s lack of name-value. ("I’d rather fight Fedor, y’know?") Then, some genius reporter asks Nick if he’s going to jump ship to the UFC, with Scott Coker sitting right next to him. Ouch. Also, Tyron Woodley breaks down his matchup with Andre Galvao and talks about his development in the sport.
It’s not quite Nick Diaz vs. Jason Miller, but Strikeforce is going to do its very best to convince you that Nick Diaz vs. KJ Noons — who’s fighting for the title in his Strikeforce welterweight debut! — is the grudge match you’ve been begging for. And how do they plan on accomplishing that? By staying on message. As you’ll see, the famous phrase "Don’t be scared, homey" pops up twice in this one-minute hype clip for Strikeforce’s next event at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on October 9th. Which begs the question: If "DBS,H" is the theme of the night, why not hold the event in Stockton? What, too real for you guys? Violent crime rate too high? Pussies.
(Carano and Cyborg: Godmothers of the game. / Photo courtesy of SI.com)
By CagePotato.com contributor Jim Genia
First there was the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which empowered the women of the United States with the right to vote. The Sexual Revolution of the 1960s followed, providing them with birth control and shifting values, and liberating them from the social constraints of a rigid society. Then came Gina Carano vs. Cris “Cyborg” Santos, which showed that when you put two well-trained ladies in a cage and pay them to fight, they can really beat the crap out of each other (or at least one can thoroughly whoop the other).
Yes, great strides have been made in equality for the fairer sex, and thanks to the likes of Carano and Cyborg, this equality has stretched into the realm of mixed martial arts. Now, there are impending all-female tournaments scheduled for Strikeforce and Bellator, and Sarah Kaufman’s recent violent KO over Roxanne Modafferimade ESPN’s “SportCenter”. Whether you love it or hate it, the female version of limited-rules combat is here to stay. So here’s a look back at some of the greatest moments in MMA herstory. (Get it? “His-story”, “her-story”? Yuk-yuk.)
On May 31, 2008, EliteXC broke the live network-television seal with “Primetime”, a CBS-broadcast event that saw Kimbo Slice smash James Thompson’s ear, Robbie Lawler poke Scott Smith in the eye, and an overweight Carano batter a smaller Kaitlin Young. Overweight? That’s right, for the first-ever female bout on free TV, ultra-popular fighter and former American Gladiator Carano failed to make the contracted 140-pound weight limit, coming in instead at 144.5 pounds. This wasn’t the first time the “Face of Women’s MMA” had failed to make weight. In fact, EliteXC had tailor-made the 140-pound division for her because making the standard 135-pound limit would’ve required too much cardio and crystal meth. To ensure that she didn’t miss weight at her next fight, which was a pairing in Miami against Kelly Kobold, Carano stepped on the scale buck naked. Thankfully, the towel held up by her father to conceal her nude form from the crowd only slipped once.
Here at CagePotato: The Weekend we like to keep it fairly casual. You know, a hair-down kind of affair where we can all relax, have a couple of cocktails and unwind. That said, when we get an email from The Powers That Be politely, yet firmly asking us to post the video of Sarah Kaufman’s KO slam of Roxanne Modafferi from Friday night, we figure we best hop to it. So here above, for those of you who can’t afford Showtime (Seriously, you’re missing an awesome season of Nurse Jackie) or those of you don’t want to sit through the full fight, is the good part.
(“Dear Scott Coker, How do you like me now, bitch? XOXO. Love, Sarah.” PicProps: Strikeforce)
When Sarah Kaufman let it be known this week that she didn’t appreciate having her women’s welterweight title defense against Roxanne Modafferi relegated to the second-string series of America’s second-string MMA promotion, she said she planned to prove she deserved better. In a blog published on Pretty Tough Fighter.com, Kaufman said she would use her bout with Modafferi to demonstrate herself – and, by extension, the entire women’s 135-pound division — worthy of inclusion on one of Strikeforce’s “big shows.” Well, after Friday night’s performance, let us just say: We’re reading you loud and clear, Sarah.
Kaufman turned in one of women’s MMA’s more impressive (and ugly) knockouts last night, when she hoisted Modafferi off the mat and shut her lights out with a slam near the end of the third round in their fight at Strikeforce Challengers 9. If a finish like that doesn’t erase the memory of her previous fight and earn the now 12-0 Kaufman the respect and fanbase needed to be included alongside, say, “big stars” like Bobby Lashley or Herschel Walker on one of the Strikeforce’s A-list broadcasts, we’re not sure what will.
Weigh-in results for tonight’s show in Everett, Washington are below. Set the DVRs now, Showtime subscribers. And please throw down some MMA FightPicker guesses if you haven’t already!
Shane Del Rosario (243.6) vs. Lolohea Mahe (264) Sarah Kaufman (134) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (133.4) Cory Devela (171) vs. Bobby Voelker (170.4) Abongo Humphrey (202.6) vs. Mike Kyle (205.8) Caros Fodor (155.6) vs. Thomas Diagne (156)
"To talk about me is easy," Anderson Silva says in the above preview vid. "Try to beat me." Ah, there’s the rub. Chael Sonnen‘s trash talk has been absolutely epic in the run-up to this fight, but it remains to be seen if he can even back up one tenth of it in the Octagon. Meanwhile, Roy Nelson has finally earned Dana White’s respect with his knockouts of Brendan Schaub and Stefan Struve, and is "a definite contender for the heavyweight championship." To get his shot, he’ll have to become the first UFC fighter to endure the fists of Junior Dos Santos, who has been leaving a very impressive trail of bodies in his wake. It’s a matchup that guarantees excitement, as opposed to main event, in which…well, if Silva dances around and mocks his opponent for five more excruciating rounds, don’t act like you didn’t see it coming.
After the jump:E. Casey Leydon follows Roxanne Modafferi and Sarah Kaufman as they prepare for their 135-pound title match at Strikeforce Challengers, tomorrow night in Everett, Washington. The event kicks off on Showtime at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
Yesterday, we wondered why Strikeforce’s next 135-pound women’s title fight was getting second-billing to a barely relevant men’s heavyweight scrap on a Challengers card. Well, Sarah Kaufman doesn’t really understand it either, and she posted a blog on PrettyToughFighter.com earlier today explaining her frustration. Take it away, champ…
Cookies and Man Parts …seem to be the 2 things that will get me on a main Strikeforce card…that and learning how to shake my assets. [Ed. note: That was her link, not ours.] I am currently the Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Champion…yet I fought for the title on a Challengers Card. Now, I am set to defend said title against Roxanne Modafferi in just a few days – again – on a Challengers Card.
I know that it’s going to be a fun and challenging fight…and I always welcome that. Roxanne has been around the sport for a long time and will come game to fight; however, I need to take this fight and make a statement.
That statement will be: I deserve to be on a main Strikeforce Card because I am a talented, exciting FEMALE fighter at 135lbs! I will NOT eat a ridiculous amount of cookies to make 145lbs JUST for the opportunity to be on a main card and growing man parts… well that would just be ridiculous
– Why is a 9-0 steamroller like Del Rosario fighting a 4-1-1 novice who’s coming off a loss?
– Why is that fight headlining this card, as opposed to the women’s title fight?
The answers are: 1) It’s Strikeforce, do you really expect brilliant matchmaking? 2) As rumor has it, Strikeforce is displeased that Kaufman’s last three fights have gone the distance. So they’re pretty much going to stop pushing her. Anyway. Die-hard fightpickers can check out the full set of pool questions for this event after the jump; please make your selections at fightpicker.cagepotato.com or apps.facebook.com/mmafightpicker.
Unrelated: Our good friends at AskMen.com have released their 2010 Great Male Survey, which is honestly one of the greatest sociological research projects of our time. Over 100,000 men participated, giving their opinions on sex, grooming habits, current events, and so much more. Things we learned: 49% of men would punch a co-worker in the face if they could get away with it. 3% of men feel that MMA is too violent for their tastes. 19% of men would track their partner’s movements ("with a GPS implant, for example") if they had the ability. 53% of men feel that "sex addiction" is just a convenient excuse for guys who get caught cheating. Well, obviously.
“I started out in dance when I was about two,” explains Kaufman of her earliest pastime, which was interrupted when she took her first Muay Thai class at age 17. “Adam Zugec opened Zuma (MMA gym) underneath my dance studio — when I started that, it was something fun that just took over my life.”
Later, she even tried to work her University classes around her training schedule for MMA, but there was just no compromising her passion.
“After two years of University, I decided it wasn’t really where I wanted to go. Now I’m doing MMA fulltime”
Unless your name is Phillip Miller, you can’t expect to go through a career in cage-fighting without losing at least once. So in honor of Fedor Emelianenko’s first legitimate defeat, we decided to take a look at the best MMA fighters who still have flawless records. Whose “0” will be the next to go? And whose win streak is just getting started? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section…
#1: SHANE CARWIN (12-0, all wins by first-round stoppage) Notable victories: Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 96 (TKO R1), Frank Mir at UFC 111 (TKO R1, won UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship) Next fight:Brock Lesnar at UFC 116, 7/3/10
He may very well take his first loss this Saturday, but right now, Shane Carwin is the most dangerous undefeated fighter in MMA — as evidenced by the fact that no opponent has made it to the second round against him, and only two have lasted past the second minute. As he immediately showed in his UFC debut against Christian Wellisch at UFC 84, Carwin has a near-supernatural ability to generate power with his 4XL fists. Though he’s backed by impressive wrestling credentials, he’s only needed those hands to achieve victory in the UFC, knocking out top contenders Gabriel Gonzaga and Frank Mir in his last two fights. Brock, get ready to have your chin tested.
One of the most effective submission artists in the history of MMA, “Mega Megu” owns the longest active win streak in the sport, but suffers from the same problem that Cris Cyborg is facing in the States — a scarcity of legitimate challengers. Now that she’s signed on for Bellator’s 115-pound tourney later this year, she can prove her reputation as a living legend who can do more than armbar pint-sized scrubettes in Japan.
(Best finish of the night: Luke Rockhold vs. Paul Bradley)
Takayo Hashi may have been touted as the second-best 135-pound female fighter in the world coming into her title fight against Sarah Kaufman at last night’s Strikeforce Challengers event in San Jose, but for most of the five-round contest she looked woefully outmatched. Kaufman’s superior standup ruled the night, as the undefeated Canadian — and new "welterweight" women’s champion of Strikeforce — dropped Hashi twice in the first round, and spent the rest of the fight chasing the Japanese grappling specialist around the cage, landing punches whenever she was in range.
Kaufman successfully avoided the occasional takedown and submission attempts from her opponent, and outside of a teep kick that found its mark on her face in the final frame, she made it through all 25 minutes relatively untouched. After the fight’s conclusion — a 50-45 decision on all three judges’ scorecards — Kaufman apologized to the fans for her inability to finish Hashi, and generously credited Hashi’s constant movement: "It was really hard to get a lot of clean shots on her consecutively,” Kaufman said. “I would have loved to have finished the fight, but I couldn’t have done any more than I did.”
In addition to having a perfect 10-0 record that includes wins over the likes of Miesha Tate (one of MMA’s hottest women, let’s not forget) and Shayna Baszler, Kaufman also has the distinction of winning all but two of her fights via TKO stoppage. She may not win pretty, but she’s a gritty fighter who likes to stand and bang and will not give you a second to breathe once the bell rings. If you need another barometer aside from her record to tell you how dominant she’s been, just look at the odds on her fight against Hashi. She’s fighting the #2-ranked fighter in her weight class, and bookmakers still expect it to be a blowout.
Biographical notes: Kaufman was a dancer from age two, but transitioned to fighting because it is far more awesome. She’s from Victoria, British Columbia, and yet bravely missing tonight’s Canada-Slovakia hockey game in order to fight for a title. She’s more or less estranged from her family, who she says “weren’t bad parents,” but were not active or health conscious or terribly supportive of her fighting career. See her in action after the jump.
(Sarah Kaufman gives us the score on her MMA career and what she expects in her title bout with Takayo Hashi on Friday night.)
Yesterday on Twitter our pals over at Fight Magazine suggested that you’d have to be a “a real degenerate” to bet on Strikeforce: Challengers fights. We see where they’re coming from. Betting on fights, sometimes between relative unknowns, could be construed as a sign that you’re the kind of maniac who will bet on anything, whether it’s a fight between two stray cats or a UFC main event. That might be true…if you lose those bets. My friends, the Enabler does not plan on losing this weekend. Not if he wants to keep his legs in good working order, and he really, really wants that.
Sarah Kaufman (-575) vs. Takayo Hashi (+500) Trevor Prangley (-350) vs. Karl Amoussou (+330) Luke Rockhold (-185) vs. Paul Bradley (+180) James Terry (-130) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (+130) Raul Castillo (+101) vs. Yancy Medeiros (-111)
With a perfect record of 10-0 (eight via TKO), the hard-hitting Kaufman is one of the world’s best female fighters, and has been gaining recognition in Strikeforce thanks to the dominant decision victories she scored over Miesha Tate and Shayna Baszler in 2009. Takayo Hashi (12-1; 4 wins by submission, 8 by unanimous decision) has competed primarily in Japan, where she was one of the standouts of the SmackGirl promotion. Hashi most recently choked out Chisa Yonezawa at a GCM Valkyrie event last April, and avenged her only loss to Hitomi Akano in 2007. She’s known primarily as a grappler, while Kaufman is known primarily for beating the crap out of grapplers.
Now instead of facing the 1-1 Couture, she’s facing the 8-0 (all by KO or TKO) Sarah Kaufman, and the fight has grown considerably in magnitude. Here she talks about the change of opponents, her path to MMA, and what it’s like trying to make it as a female MMA fighter.
This seems like significant change in opponents, and on fairly late notice. How did that affect your preparation for this fight and what the fight means for you?
It was kind of strange at first, the idea of going from Kim Couture to Sarah Kaufman. Obviously it’s quite a jump. I think I have a lot more to gain from this fight. She’s a very tough and worthy opponent. I have the opportunity to beat someone who has an established, undefeated record.
Do you think the only reason Kim Couture got this fight in the first place was because of her last name?
Maybe Strikeforce‘s roster isn’t so thin after all. According to a new press release sent out by the fight league, Strikeforce will hold its second "Challengers" event at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington on Friday, June 19th — just two weeks after "Lawler vs. Shields" goes down in St. Louis — and a host of prominent names are already booked.
(Guess who isn’t in this sport to just screw around?)
Strikeforce may have found their replacement for Kim “Future Ex Mrs.” Couture, and it’s an undefeated fighter who made her willingness to scrap known on the UG. 8-0 Sarah Kaufman said in a forum post that she’d step in to face Miesha Tate while Couture sorted out her personal issues, and Strikeforce may be taking her up on the offer. They acquired her contract in the Pro Elite sale, and though the fight’s right around the corner on May 15 Kaufman has a real opportunity to turn the Couture family’s rumored marital strife into a big payoff for herself so why not? Unlike Kim Couture, she may not have a recognizable name, but she does have more than two fights, so automatically this becomes more of a serious fight with her in it. Those of you wondering what she can do should take a look after the jump.