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Two promising prospects to collide in Strikeforce women’s welterweight tournament reserve bout in Phoenix on Aug. 13

NEW YORK (Aug. 3, 2010) – Colleen Schneider and Liz Carmouche will tangle in the “reserve bout” in the first-ever STRIKEFORCE women’s single-elimination welterweight (135 pounds) tournament at STRIKEFORCE Challengers on Friday, Aug. 13, from Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., live on SHOWTIME®.  The match will take place during the non-televised undercard.

If a winner of a completed tournament semifinal fight cannot advance because of an injury or any other reason, they will be replaced by the Schneider-Carmouche winner.

STRIKEFORCE women’s welterweight contenders Miesha “Takedown” Tate, Carina “Beauty But The Beast” Damm, Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano and Maiju Kujala will compete in the tournament. A draw to determine the semifinal matchups for the two-round tournament will take place at the Official Weigh-In on Thursday, Aug. 12. Each of the tournament tussles and the reserve bout are slated for three, 3-minute rounds.

The tournament winner will become the official No. 2 challenger in the STRIKEFORCE women’s welterweight division (behind Marloes Coenen). On July 23 on SHOWTIME, undefeated world champion Sarah Kaufman impressively retained her STRIKEFORCE crown with a third-round “power slam” KO over Roxanne Modafferi.

The winners of each semifinal bout on Aug. 13 will face off in the tournament final later that night, just before the main event matchup on SHOWTIME between Joe “Diesel” Riggs (32-12) and Louis Taylor (6-1) that will be fought at a catch weight of 182 pounds.

Schneider (0-1), of Oakland, Calif., by way of Syracuse, N.Y., trains with STRIKEFORCE World Lightweight (155 pounds) Champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez at his El Nino Training Center in San Francisco.  She moved to the West Coast in 2000 to attend University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in Physics and Astrophysics. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2004.

“While at Cal, I met some people from the Taekwondo team who convinced me to come and try it, and I loved it,’’ Schneider said. “I did it for a few years there, and things kind of went on from there.’’

After seven years of Taekwondo, three years of Karate, two years of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, two years of Muay Thai, several tournaments and countless unsanctioned fights, Schneider turned to Mixed

Martial Arts (MMA). She compiled a record of 4-0 in the amateurs before making her MMA pro debut on March 19, 2010.

“I am very happy to be fighting for STRIKEFORCE, which is the place to be right now in the women’s division,’’ said Schneider,’’ an aggressive striker known for her unorthodox kicks.

Carmouche (2-0) has triumphed in both her starts inside the distance.  After winning by second-round TKO in her pro debut last May 29, she registered a second-round submission (armbar) over Margarita de la Cruz the following June 26.

A 25-year-old of Lebanese descent, Carmouche was born in Okinawa, Japan, and currently resides in San Diego. She spent seven years in the Marines in which she spent time fighting in the Middle East.

Carmouche currently trains at Undisputed Fitness and Training in San Diego with Manolo Hernandez and Baret Yoshida, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion.

Tickets for the STRIKEFORCE Challengers event are on sale at the Dodge Theatre Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at (800) 745-3000, and online at www.livenation.com and  www.strikeforce.com.

Dodge Theatre doors will open at 5 p.m. local time. The first preliminary bout will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the first main card bout will begin at 8.

The SHOWTIME telecast will begin at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast.)

STRIKEFORCE Challengers is a proving ground for up-and-coming MMA fighters. The series is designed to provide today’s top prospects with the opportunity to step-up their level of competition and demonstrate their ability in a nationally televised event.

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