Wasn't Strikeforce supposed to revitalize women's fighting? Scott Coker and Showtime seemed to be the only big promotion that was interested in really pushing female MMA. They made the bold move of putting two women in the main event of a card with Gina Carano facing Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. There was talk of a 135-pound tournament. Yet there's female fighters everywhere sitting in limbo waiting for the call.
Tonight's Strikeforce: Challengers card on Showtime (11 p.m. ET/PT) features just one women's fight, Sarah Kaufmann versus Takayo Hashi but that's it. The card also features
six five amateur men's fights (correction: there is one amateur women's fight). This can't be a good sign for female fighting.
Cagewriter spoke recently with Erin Toughill to discuss why she was coming back and the state of female fighting. The news leaked months ago that Toughill was back so why isn't she fighting any time before the summer? Where is Miesha Tate? It seems like these Challengers cards would be a perfect placed to build some of the female fighters and get them experience. It's starting to look like the plan is to establish one champion at 145 and one at 135, and get both of the champs two fights a year. Beyond that zippo.
Toughill has zero complaints about Strikeforce she actually lays the blame at the feet of many of the fighters themselves:
"I think a lot of people are fighting for the wrong reasons. It's the evolution of the sport. I want to see women who really want to be in this sport. With these women, I just want them to get out of the way. If they're not serious, make room for the people who are."
April is when the women's tournament is supposed to begin. Do you think it will come off? Frankly, beyond the most hardcore fans, is there really an outcry over the lack of women's fights on the Strikeforce cards? Maybe Showtime and Coker have it right. If they do, then there really isn't much of a future for females to make a living fighting.