Hitomi Akano file photo: Sherdog.com
Strikeforce will draw its two women’s 135-pound tournament brackets at the official day-before weigh-ins for Strikeforce Challengers 10, which will be held on Aug. 13 at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix, Ariz.
MMARising.com was the first to report that the tournament would follow a random draw format. Sherdog.com had erroneously reported completed matchups last week.
Miesha Tate, Hitomi Akano, Carina Damm and Maiju Kujala represent the international field of competitors. The bouts will be shortened from five- to three-minute rounds, the promotion announced on Thursday.
The Showtime-televised event will host the tournament over one night, with the winner earning a title shot against the promotion’s 135-pound champion Sarah Kaufman. The Victoria, British Columbia native knocked Roxanne Modafferi out with a third-round slam at Strikeforce Challengers 9 on July 23 in Kent, Wash.
Tate returns to the promotion following a second-round submission victory over Zoila Frausto at Strikeforce Challengers 7 last March. The 23-year-old Tacoma, Wash., native has only two career losses on her docket, with one against champion Kaufman.
Japan’s Akano, 35, made her promotional debut against 145-pound champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, who pummeled the undersized Akano to a third-round stoppage in April 2009. Akano has since notched a win and split decision loss in Japan’s Jewels promotion.
Brazilian Damm has won 10 straight bouts since February 2007. The Alliance Jiu-jitsu rep earned a first-round TKO over Aline Serio at Jungle Fight 17 last February in her hometown of Vila Velha, Brazil.
Damm hasn’t fought in the U.S., since testing positive for steroids following her first-round submission victory over Sophie Bagherdai at Femme Fatale Fighting 4 in April 2008 in Los Angeles. Damm served a one-year suspension, which killed a multi-fight deal she had signed at the time with the now defunct EliteXC.
Finnish import Kujala earned her tournament slot after blazing through a similar four-women, one-night event at Upcoming Glory 7 on March 27 in The Netherlands. Kujala boasts a 4-1 record since her September 2009 debut.