Tate Crowned WW Tourney Champ; Riggs Pounds Out Taylor
By FCF Staff Miesha Tate took a huge step closer to earning a rematch with Strikeforce 135lb. Women’s Champion Sarah Kaufman last night in Phoenix, Arizona, as the soon to be 24 year-old-fighter earned back-to-back Unanimous Decision victories over Maiju Kujala and Hitomi Akano, to win the promotion’s women’s welterweight tourney.
“It’s a dream come true. I came here on a mission and I accomplished my goal,” Tate was quoted saying in a press release from Strikeforce. “And now it’s on to step two and getting that championship belt and getting another shot at Sarah Kaufman.”
In the Challenger’s card main event, after having somewhat of a conservative approach in the opening two rounds, UFC veteran Joe Riggs turned it on in the final frame of his 182lb. catch-weight bout with Louis Taylor, to earn the TKO win. After dazing Taylor with a thumping left hook, Riggs took his opponent down and worked his way into the crucifix position, forcing the Chicago fighter to tap with a barrage of punches to his face.
“I felt great fighting and winning in front of Phoenix,” Riggs said. “I love my fans.”
In another of the bouts broadcast on Showtime, the 27 year-old son of legendary fighter Randy Couture, Ryan, made the most of his pro-debut, catching opponent Lucas Starks with a beautifully time triangle-choke.
“It’s kind of a load off to get the first win and I hope there won’t be a long wait for the next one and I can show some new things next time,” Couture told the media afterwards. “I thought once it hit the ground I would catch him but I didn’t expect it to be that quick. I just lucked out that way I guess.”
Here are the full results from last night’s Strikeforce Challengers event:
Joe Riggs def. Louis Taylor by submission (punches) – R3, 2:07
Women’s Welterweight Tournament Championship
Miesha Tate def. Hitomi Akano — Unanimous Decision
Ryan Couture def. Lucas Stark via submission (triangle choke) – R1, 1:15
Women’s Welterweight Tournament Semifinals
Hitomi Akano def. Carina Damm — by submission – Round 2, 1:48
Miesha Tate def. Maiju Kujala — Unanimous Decision
Liz Carmouche def. Colleen Schneider — Unanimous Decision
Chris Gruetzemacher def. Ryan Diaz — TKO (Cut) R1 (No Time Given)
Jason Richey def. Edmund Xehili — Majority Decision
Joel Champion def. Sean Scott — KO (Punches) 1:06 R1
Rob Anderson def. Alonzo Fears — Unanimous Decision
Andres Acuna def. Edwin Louis — Unanimous Decision
Frankie Saenz def. Jace Crawford — Unanimous Decision