Miesha Tate To Face Valerie Coolbaugh At FCF 38After plans for a January fight in Strikeforce did not materialise, Freestyle Cage Fighting Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha “Takedown” Tate will return to action at FCF 38 on January 16th when she defends her title against tough challenger “Vicious” Valerie Coolbaugh.

The fight will be one of three title bouts on the card and will be featured prominently in advance of the promotion’s Women’s Bantamweight Grand Prix on January 30th. The roster for the women’s tournament is complete and first-round brackets will be announced shortly.

Tate (7-2-0) has lost just one time in her last seven fights and has emerged as one of the top contenders in the bantamweight division. The lone defeat came against undefeated Canadian Sarah Kaufman in Strikeforce, but Tate became the first woman to both win a round against Kaufman and also take her to a decision. Tate’s five most recent victories have all come by stoppage and she has worked diligently to improve her striking.

Known primarily for her exceptional wrestling, the aptly-nicknamed “Takedown” also has a solid ground game and submitted FCF title challenger Liz Carreiro with an impressive Phantom (Shoulder) Choke in April. Most recently, Tate knocked out Sara Oriza just eight seconds into the second round of their CageSport MMA bout with a head kick. Returning to FCF, Tate will face a tough test in her latest title defence.

Coolbaugh (3-3-0) fought five times in 2009, including appearances in HOOKnSHOOT, Bellator Fighting Championships and Locked In The Cage. She lost just twice, to female phenom Tara LaRosa and British standout Rosi Sexton, while picking up victories over Kellyn Huehn, Fight Girls alum Felice Herrig and Linda Cunningham. Competing primarily at 125 pounds, Coolbaugh will move up in weight to challenge Tate.

With a 2008 fight against Freestyle Cage Fighting Women’s Super Flyweight Champion “Slick” Sally Krumdiack also on her résumé, Coolbaugh has already competed among the best during her short career. A victory over Tate would not only reward Coolbaugh with a major title, it would also establish her as one of the top female fighters to watch for in 2010. However, with all three of Coolbaugh’s losses coming by tapout, she will need to be wary of Tate’s expanding arsenal of impressive submissions.


Elsewhere on the card, FCF Welterweight Champion Joey “The Takedown Wizard” Gorczynski defends his title against Chad “The Boss” Leonhardt. FCF Light Heavyweight Champion Ryan McClain will aim to keep his title when he meets Karl Knothe. UFC veteran and former FCF Light Heavyweight Champion David Heath will also compete.

FCF 38 takes place on January 16th at the Expo Square Pavilion in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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