Strikeforce Challengers 10 will feature the promotion’s first ever women’s tournament. Hitomi Akano, Miesha Tate, Carina Damm and Maiju Kujala will all fight for a shot at the Strikeforce 135-pound title. Also on the card, Joe Riggs will make his return and Ryan Couture will make his professional debut.
Joe Riggs vs. Louis Taylor
After taking the necessary time off, Joe Riggs is ready to return to major league MMA. The fighter has always had the physical tools, and reportedly has always been a monster in the gym. He should easily dominate Louis Taylor. The real question is, can he keep everything together in order to make a run at the Strikeforce welterweight crown?
Pick = Joe Riggs
Ryan Couture vs. Lucas Stark
If there is one thing that Strikeforce really excels at, it is getting their fighters wins. Herschel Walker, Bobby Lashley and even Kim Couture have all been lined up with softballs in order to get their careers headed the right direction. Couture may not ever turn out to be a great fighter, but he is in line for a win here.
Pick = Ryan Couture
Miesha Tate vs. Maiju Kujala
Kujala is clearly a step behind the rest of the tournament field. She has a pretty courageous brawling game, but Tate is better in every aspect of the sport. If Tate wants she can win a striking game, and she certainly can take the fight to the ground whenever she wants.
Pick = Miesha Tate
Hitomi Akano vs. Carina Damm
The tournament rules have really put Damm at a disadvantage. Her only real hope is to pull something off from her back. However, two three-minute rounds does not give her much time to work her Brazilian jiu-jitsu game. Akano has faced the much better opposition and has a well-rounded game.
Pick = Hitmo Akano
Miesha Tate vs. Hitomi Akano
Once again, the rules will come into play in this fight. Akano might be able to flex some game on Tate. However, the fact that Tate is the superior wrestler is huge in this fight. If she gets into trouble, she will be able to impose her will on the ground. Takedowns mean a lot more in the mind of judges when the fight is only nine minutes long.
Pick = Miesha Tate