Despite a change in opponent, pound-for-pound standout Tara LaRosa will return to action on November 24th for the new DaMMAge Fight League in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She will face former Strikeforce title challenger and final Smackgirl Middleweight Champion Takayo Hashi at 125 pounds.
LaRosa had initially been tentatively booked to face Irish prospect Aisling “Ais The Bash” Daly, but that fight was scrapped when approval could not be received from Bellator Fighting Championships. Instead, LaRosa will face Hashi, who challenged Sarah Kaufman for Strikeforce gold in February.
LaRosa (18-2-0) remains one of the top female fighters in mixed martial arts and her 15-fight winning streak from 2004 to 2009 included wins over many of the sport’s biggest names. Competing above her natural weight throughout most of her career, LaRosa has totalled notable wins over Roxanne Modafferi, Hitomi Akano, Julie Kedzie, Amanda Buckner, Shayna Baszler, Kelly Kobold, Alexis Davis and Sally Krumdiack, among others. Her résumé is among the best of any female fighter in the sport and she has recently turned her attention to the 125-pound division; her natural weight class. Hashi remains one of the few top contenders that the final BodogFIGHT Women’s Champion has yet to defeat.
Hashi (12-2-0), despite drawing the ire of critics after a disappointing effort in her Strikeforce title bid, remains a solid test for anyone at 125 or 135 pounds. She also holds wins over Akano and Buckner and was the final woman to hold the Smackgirl Middleweight Championship at 128 pounds. Hashi is skilled at working from the top when she is able to take her opponents to the mat, but she has improved her striking in recent years as well. Unfortunately, she was unable to take Kaufman down and could not figure out a strategy to beat the future champion, which resulted in a one-sided decision loss. Hashi’s style matches up much better with LaRosa’s and a victory would be Hashi’s biggest win to date.
DaMMAge Fight League will hold its inaugural event on November 24th at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The bout between LaRosa and Hashi, which may be contested over five rounds, will have major implications for each fighter in the 125-pound division, as both drop down to their natural weight classes in hopes of taking hold of the number one spot at 125 pounds.