For weeks now I have been wanting to write a column about Strikeforce’s inability or disinterest in signing Erin Toughill. Of course, I did not actually do it. However, now the promotion and the cronies at Showtime have pushed me out of my writer’s block/laziness, and here you go.

On Saturday, news broke that the next challenger for Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ 145-pound title would be Jan Finney.

For those that are unfamiliar with Finney let’s do a little breakdown. Her career record is 8-7. She has fought Adrienna Jenkins, Erin Toughill, Miesha Tate, Shayna Baszler and Julie Kedzie (three times). Her record against these notable opponents is 1-6. If you discount her victory over Adrienna “The Can Smasher” Jenkins, the other women Finney defeated have a combined record of 13-21-1.

On the other hand, Toughill’s record currently stands at 10-2-1 in MMA. One of her losses came by way of disqualification, and the other came against a 330-pound Russia lady named Svetlana Goundarenko. Toughill has also defeated Finney and Santos’ previous challenger Marloes Coenen.

In addition to MMA, Toughill has competed as a professional boxer. From 2000 to 2006, she compiled a 7-3-1 record and earned a shot against Laila Ali for the WBC female super middleweight title.

Not only does Toughill have the much more impressive resume, but she is also a legitimate 145-pound fighter. Finney is certainly best at 135 pounds. She was actually in the middle of competing in a 135-pound tournament when Strikeforce called.

It is true that there is a shortage of quality 145-pound female fighters. 135 pounds is a much deeper weight class, but does that mean “Cyborg” should continually face significantly smaller opposition? The MMA community saw what happened when she fought Hitomi Akano. Gina Carano was exposed when she finally fought someone her own size.

Strikeforce cannot say that there are no deserving women in the weight class when Toughill is sitting there. She was supposed to fight for the promotion several times, but then contract issues got in the way. If Strikeforce is serious about promoting women’s MMA then they need to step up to the plate and sign Toughill.

The promotion is desperate for attention. In addition to being a quality fighter, Toughill also has the potential for crossover appeal. Like Carano, she donned some spandex for American Gladiators. Toughill’s fight against Ali was featured on the undercard of Mike Tyson’s last pay per view.

Strikeforce signed Fedor Emelianenko and Herschel Walker, and now when they need a legitimate contender for Santos’ title they close the bank. What is that? Erin Toughill deserves a crack at that belt, and if they are not going to sign her they could at least find a 145-pound fighter.

6 thoughts on “Mann Talk – Strikeforce passes on Toughill … again”
  1. They didn’t pass on her, she said she didn’t want to fight before July, so if Cyborg wins on June 26, they will fight at the end of the year.

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