Saturday, August 14, 2010
Miesha Tate wins Strikeforce 135lb contenders tournament
So we finally had that Strikeforce 135lb contenders tournament last night in Phoenix. Of course I don't like the format. Three minute rounds are unsatisfying and it's hard to overlook the need for five minute rounds. That lame compromise and the horrible reffing should send Strikeforce the message to stay the hell out of Arizona. I didn't much care for the first fight between Miesha Tate and Maiju Kujala. Maiju's inexperience was fairly obvious but she hung in and seemed to tire Miesha out in round two. There was also a terrible ref call at the end of round one. Miesha's takedown at the end of round two probably tipped the scales in her favour. I wasn't impressed with either of them. Of course Hitomi Akano is known for her crazy submissions and she did not disappoint. Megumi Fujii flew in from Florida and you can hear her yelling at Akano. I thought Carina Damm did well in round one. But she seemed to get more reckless in round two and that left Hitomi openings and after trying for vatious submissions, she turned a triangle choke into a triangle armbar for the win. In the first round of the final, I thought Miesha still looked sluggish. Hitomi hooked an ankle lock that could have finished her. But she escaped and it seemed to wake her up and she was a lot better in round two. Miesha stunned Hitomi with a high kick at the start of round three and spent the rest of the round trying to get a rear naked choke. She wasn't able to do that and the ref's constant buzzing around may have distracted both fighters. Why do some refs have the need to draw attention to themselves? You are not the show. Miesha Tate won the tournament and proceeded to call out Sarah Kaufman. But Sarah has a title match against Marloes Coenen so Miesha will face the winner of that match. And though Hitomi Akano didn't win the tournament, she added much needed energy to the proceedings. All this tournament did was leave me with the nagging desire to see Miesha Tate face Hitomi Akano with five minute rounds. That's not the result Strikeforce is looking for. Enjoy the match videos.