In a posting this evening on her official Facebook page, Strikeforce competitor Erin Toughill has stated her intentions to leave the promotion. While details remain limited, Toughill cited an inability to get fights as a contributing factor and hinted that retirement may be possible.
Toughill had signed a long-term seven-fight contract with Strikeforce and had been scheduled to debut for the promotion last November in a rematch with Marloes “Rumina” Coenen. She was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a ruptured cyst and has not fought since last May.
Toughill (10-2-1 MMA; 8-2-1, 1 NC Boxing) split time between mixed martial arts and boxing for much of her career before retiring from both in 2007. Unable to secure fights, Toughill opted to take a break from both sports, but returned to MMA in November 2008. She won three straight fights and signed with Strikeforce last year, but complications arose after she was forced to withdraw from the rematch with Coenen at Strikeforce: “Fedor vs Rogers” on November 7, 2009.
While Coenen went on to challenge Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos at Strikeforce: Miami in January, Toughill had planned to compete on the same night for Freestyle Cage Fighting at FCF 39. However, an opponent could not be secured in time and Toughill was once again left without a fight. She was later named by Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker as the next challenger for Santos, who defeated Coenen by third-round TKO.
With the Strikeforce 145-pound female ranks running extremely thin, Toughill was seen by most as the last real threat to Santos, who captured the Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight (145-Pound) Championship last August by stopping Gina “Conviction” Carano. With Carano busy filming a movie and Coenen contemplating a drop to 135, no top contenders remain for Santos besides Toughill.
In her posting, Toughill stated that she will further discuss the reasons for her decision to leave Strikeforce in the coming days. She has said that it was a difficult and personal decision, but that she could no longer subject herself to ongoing issues with the promotion. MMARising.com will provide further updates as they become available.
Update: Strikeforce has confirmed with MMARising.com that Toughill was in final negotiations to appear on the undercard of Strikeforce: Nashville on April 17th, but opted not to compete.
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)