With ten days to go until the inaugural Strikeforce 135-pound women’s tournament, the promotion has finalised the event’s preliminary reserve bout. Highly-touted Gracie Academy prospect Colleen Schneider will face fellow Californian Liz Carmouche. Both will make their Strikeforce debuts.
The reserve bout will take place on the unaired undercard of Strikeforce Challengers 10 on August 13th at the Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. The winner of the fight will advance to the finals of the one-night tournament only if a tournament finalist is injured or otherwise unable to continue.
Schneider (0-1-0) broke onto the scene in 2009 with a pair of amateur victories in the highly respected Tuff-N-Uff promotion, though observers may not recognise her name. Due to a corporate job that she held at the time, Schneider competed for Tuff-N-Uff under the alias “Paige Zio,” a combination of a childhood nickname and the last name of a friend. She later left the job and made her pro MMA debut – under her real name – earlier this year in Alaska, but suffered a second-round submission defeat. Schneider has recently spent time training alongside Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez in San Francisco.
Carmouche (2-0-0) made her pro debut on May 29th and submitted Aleena Albertson with an armbar in the second round. She wasted no time in returning to action and stopped Margarita de la Cruz by TKO due to a doctor stoppage on June 26th. Now competing for the third time in less than three months, Carmouche quickly finds herself in the biggest fight of her short career. The San Diego native previously served in the Marines and trains under Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Baret Yoshida. She will make her Strikeforce debut alongside Schneider and a victory would be a tremendous step forward.
Strikeforce Challengers 10 takes place on August 13th at the Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. The event features a one-night, four-woman tournament at 135 pounds. Participants in the tournament are Miesha “Takedown” Tate, Carina “Beauty But The Beast” Damm, Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano and Maiju Kujala. First-round matchups will be determined by a random draw on the night of the weigh-ins and the tournament winner will become the number two contender for the Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Championship.
Update: Strikeforce has released the official rules for the women’s tournament. Already known was that all bouts – including the reserve bout – will be contested under three, three-minute rounds. Strikeforce has now announced that an extra (fourth) round will be used should a fight be ruled a Draw after three rounds. This format was previously used in HOOKnSHOOT women’s tournaments in past years and came into effect during a 2007 HOOKnSHOOT tournament bout between Miesha Tate and Jan Finney.