Strikeforce: Which is the favorite?

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Hitomi Akano, Carina Damm, Miesha Tate and Maiju Kujala dispute GP. Photos: publicity

Four women in the cage focused on one thing: a shot at the belt.

That’s what is going on at Strikeforce, presently the promotion investing the most in women’s MMA and boasting the best female fighters. The event innovated with a grand prix that will be held August 13 in Phoenix, Arizona. Four fighters strive for a shortcut to a title fight. The winner of the tournament will be next in line to challenge the welterweight belt holder, to be decided in the fight between Sarah Kaufman and Marloes Coenen.

The task at hand is to win two fights. The candidates are:

Miesha Tate

Tate on top against Zoila Frausto. Photo: Esther Lin

With nine wins and two losses, the fighter from the U.S. state of Washington is a wrestling specialist. In the modality she trained with the boys team at school and won a slew of different competitions. Her last loss in MMA came at the hands of current champion Sarah Kaufman. With heaps of potential and at only 23 years of age, Tate promises to be a handful.

Carina Damm

Carina uses Jiu-Jitsu at Bitetti Combat. Photo: Carlos Ozório

Direct from Vila Velha, Brazil, Carina reaches the GP after barely getting past her first challenge: she cut it close in getting her United States visa. Sister to also-black belt in Jiu-Jitsu Rodrigo Damm, the 31-year-old fighter is coming off a ten-fight win streak. With 15 wins and 3 losses, she got the tapout on six occasions and the knockout on five. “Barbie Girl” heads into the tournament at full force.

Hitomi Akano

Akano before her fight with Cris Cyborg. Photo: Esther Lin

Former champion of Japan’s Smackgirl promotion Akano holds a record of 15 wins and seven losses. She is a grappling specialist, having won by submission on 12 opportunities. She faced Cris Cyborg in the weight division of hers and held out valiantly till the third round, when she fell by knockout. At 35 years of age, the fighter brings a load of experience to the table.

Maiju Kujala

Maiju Kujala shows her Strikeforce contract after winning GP. Photo: Mixfight.nl

The Finn has the least experience of the four with four wins and one loss. However, she carries in her baggage a triumph in a two-fight GP in March that was worth a berth in Strikeforce. She enters the fray as the underdog, but there’s nothing keeping her from making some noise.

What about you, reader, which of the four is the favorite to take this GP?

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