MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Takayo Hashi

Strikeforce Challengers Results: Kaufman Routs Hashi to Win 135-Pound Belt, Prangley/Amoussou Ends in Eye-Poke


(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.”

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Better Know a Fighter: Sarah Kaufman


(A black eye and the faintest hint of a smile. That’s our kind of woman. Photo by Esther Lin.)

Wednesday we tried to educate your ignorant asses on Takayo Hashi, the Japanese fighter who is one half of the 135-pound title fight on tonight’s Strikeforce: Challengers show (you made your FightPicker selections yet, by the way?). It’s only fair that we also shine the spotlight on her opponent in tonight’s main event, the undefeated Sarah Kaufman.

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.

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Gambling Enabler: Strikeforce “Challengers” Edition


(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.

The best lines on the internet come to us courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:

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)

The breakdown…

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Better Know a Fighter: Takayo Hashi

Takayo Hashi MMA Strikeforce
(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…

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Strikeforce to Crown 135-Pound Women’s Champ Next Month; Contender Tournaments to Begin in April


(Takayo Hashi vs. Chisa Yonezawa @ GCM Valkyrie 2, 4/25/09)

After putting on the biggest women’s fight in history last year, Strikeforce is preparing to build women’s MMA even larger. According to a recent press release, Sarah Kaufman and Takayo Hashi will battle for the promotion’s first women’s 135-pound title at a Strikeforce Challengers event scheduled for February 26th at the Civic Auditorium in San Jose; tickets are on sale right now.

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.

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