Miesha Tate scored wins over Maiju Kujala and Hitomi Akano at Friday’s Strikeforce Challengers 10 in Phoenix, Arizona to win the women’s welterweight tournament and earn a shot at the 135-pound title currently held by Sarah Kaufman.
After topping Kujala with a two-round unanimous decision to advance to the finals, Tate earned a unanimous decision over Akano, who moved on to the finals with a second-round submission of Carina Damm.
Tate dropped a unanimous decision to Kaufman last May for just her second career loss, but the rematch isn’t guaranteed as Kaufman will first defend the title against Marloe Coenen later this year.
Veteran Joe Riggs stopped Louis Taylor with punches in the third in the Strikeforce Challengers 10 main event, while Ryan Couture, the son of UFC hall of famer Randy Couture, won his pro MMA debut with a first-round submission of Lucas Stark.
The official Strikeforce Challengers 10 results were:
- Joe Riggs def. Louis Taylor via submission (punches) – Round 3, 2:07
- Miesha Tate def. Hitomi Akano via unanimous decision (women’s tournament final)
- Ryan Couture def. Lucas Stark via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 1:15
- Hitomi Akano def. Carina Damm via submission – Round 2, 1:48 (women’s tournament semifinal)
- Miesha Tate def. Maiju Kujala via unanimous decision (women’s tournament semifinal)
Pictured: Miesha Tate