Tara LaRosa (right) and Carina Damm have agreed to square off on March 11. | Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
It did not take long for event organizers to find a new semi-main event for Shark Fights 14.
Hours after it was announced that the slated rematch between James Irvin and Houston Alexander had been scratched due to Irvin allegedly testing positive for steroids and Alexander being injured, 125-pound female standouts Carina Damm and Tara LaRosa have been tapped to square off in the replacement co-headliner.
HDNet, the channel which will broadcast the March 11 event from the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas, revealed the matchup on Wednesday. Middleweights Matt Horwich and Danillo Villefort will square off in the card’s main event.
Damm, 32, enters the bout on the heels of her first losses since 2007. The Brazilian “Barbie Girl” had racked up 10 consecutive wins before running into Hitomi Akano in Strikeforce last August and subsequently falling to unbeaten prospect Cat Zingano. The sister of lightweight Rodrigo Damm, Carina recently relocated from her hometown of Vila Velha, Brazil, to St. Louis, Mo., in order to train and teach at Finney’s MMA.
The 33-year-old LaRosa had her own 15-fight win streak snapped in 2010, when the Philadelphia-based New Jersey native lost a razor-thin split decision to Roxanne Modafferi. LaRosa bounced back, however, besting Strikeforce vet Takayo Hashi in a five-round November affair to capture the DaMMAge Fight League 125-pound title. A nine-year veteran of the sport, LaRosa holds an impressive 19-2 ledger, which includes notable wins over Akano, Modafferi, Shayna Baszler and Kelly Kobold.