As we head into the New Year, female fighting has become bigger and better than ever. More women taking up the sport, a growing amateur division, and more amateurs making their pro debuts. With the growth, the women’s divisions has a lot of things to consider in 2012.
Here is our list…
Organize a 145 pound tournament
As crazy as it is, Cyborg is having trouble finding a fight at 145 pounds. Many of the fighters argue that they want “more experience” to face the champ; and the division has yet to see any kind of build for contenders. There are plenty of amateur 145 and 155 pound fighters; as well as a lot of European 145ers that are in the division, with a few American pros in that mix.
Strikeforce is trying to get out of the tournament business, but if they had one or two smaller organization partner up to hold an eight woman tournament to develop these fighters, we can have a solid base of female fighters to make a division.
Get more international fighters to train in the U.S.
With the U.S. way ahead of the world in terms of training, it’s tough for foreign fighters to be competitive. Prime example was Hiroko Yamanka’s 16 second loss to Cyborg Santos. Many European fighters have showed their interest in making the move to the U.S. in order to train at American gyms. Same can be said of Australian and Japanese fighters.
The move would increase the amount of pro female fighters in the division, and give more exposure to the world in the process.
Organize the American 105 Division
Most of the top 10 strawweight fighters are Japanese fighters, and for good reason. You saw a few 105 fights this year in the U.S., but that will change in 2012. As more fighters are dropping to 105 from 115, and more amateur will be making their pro debuts; the strawweights will be making an impact. With two high level strawweight fights already booked for January, this will be the weight class to look out for in 2012.
Find a solid home for the 115 pounders
Bellator has made the move to focus more on the 125 division in 2012, but will feature flyweights on occasion. XFC in Florida and XFO out of Chicago has picked up the slack. With the amount of talent there is in the division, whoever gets their flyweight division going first will have an upper hand in 2012.
Get Strikeforce to sign Baszler, McMann, Akano, and Bird; and Resign Coenen
The 135 talent pool is deep, and with only 7 listed fighters in the Strikeforce Bantamweight division, they need to start hiring some great fighters. It has been a travesty that Strikeforce hasn’t signed Shayna Baszler, who has been on a four fight win streak since her decision loss to Sarah Kaufman. Three of the four wins were amazing submission finishes.
Also on that list is Olympic medalist Sara McMann, who is riding a 4 fight win streak of her own. The undefeated fighter will be facing #5 Unified ranked Hitomi Akano at Pro-Elite Jan. 21. Akano is also deserving to be signed back to Strikeforce, having reached the finals of the Strikeforce women’s Grand Prix. Since then, she has been on a two fight win streak.
The other name on that list is Sheila Bird, who has been destroying opponents in the Great White North. This includes the brutal beatdown of Kim Couture.
Marloes Coenen is also needed to help round out what would be the best group of female fighters in history. Coenen versus Rousey would be a huge fight, and Coenen has been the closest to being a threat for Cyborg. Zuffa has resigned Golden Glory fighter John Olav Einemo already, so the relationship between Coenen and Strikeforce could be repaired.