Maiju Kujala vs Karla Benitez Rebooked For Cage 17Finnish standout Maiju “Mai” Kujala and once-beaten Spanish prospect Karla Benitez will face off at Cage 17: “Northern Storm” on November 5th in Oulu, Finland. The 55kg matchup, which was originally scheduled to take place at Cage 16 earlier this month, was announced by Kujala today.

Kujala was forced to withdraw from the Cage 16 fight and Benitez went on to face another Finnish opponent, Katja Kankaanpää. Benitez suffered her first career loss in the fight. She now replaces Kujala’s original opponent, Lena “Hunter” Ovchynnikova, and will look to get back on the winning track.

Kujala (6-3-0) has fought just twice so far in 2011, as injuries to Kujala and her opponents have forced a number of planned bouts to be rescheduled or scrapped entirely. When she was unable to face Benitez on October 8th, Kujala, a veteran of last year’s Strikeforce women’s tournament, had expected to clash with Ovchynnikova at Cage 17. With Ovchynnikova on the sidelines after a recent kickboxing match, Kujala will instead face Benitez one month later than originally planned.

Benitez (6-1-0, 1 NC), despite no longer holding an unbeaten record, remains a tough test for Kujala. As one of the top female fighters in Spain, Benitez quietly won five of her first six fights before taking a step up in competition against Simona Soukupova in August. Benitez earned a Unanimous Decision victory in the fight, but came up short in a two-round battle against Kankaanpää at Cage 16. Now stepping in on less than two weeks’ notice, Benitez will finally receive her shot at Kujala.

Both Kujala and Benitez have established themselves as proven finishers. Kujala has stopped five of her opponents inside the distance, while Benitez has dispatched of four foes via knockout or submission. The winner of the bout could potentially move on to a showdown with the unbeaten Ovchynnikova once she has recovered from what is believed to be a broken hand.

Cage 17: “Northern Storm” takes place on November 5th at Oulu Hall in Oulu, Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland. Kujala and Benitez will face off at 55kg (121 pounds).



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin,

  1. Bjorn should give her a call.