A potentially explosive 135-pound women’s clash is in the works for Strikeforce Challengers 17, as former champion Sarah Kaufman will likely lock horns with up-and-comer Liz Carmouche.
Though bout agreements have not yet been signed, Sherdog.com confirmed with a source close to the bout Tuesday that the matchup is in the works.
Expected to go down July 22, the event will mark the first Strikeforce Challengers event held at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, which has been announced as the site of all future Challengers shows. A welterweight rubber match between Bobby Voelker and Roger Bowling will likely top the card, though the bout has not yet been officially announced by the promotion.
Both Kaufman (Pictured) and Carmouche last faced reigning Strikeforce women’s 135-pound champion Marloes Coenen in their last Strikefource outings, and were tapped out by the Dutch submission specialist.
Kaufman held the title when she met Coenen in October. In a highly competitive bout that saw both women put forth solid offense, it was Coenen who walked away with the win -- and nearly with Kaufman’s arm. After hitting a sweep to gain top position in the third round, Kaufman began raining down violent ground and pound before Coenen caught an appendage and applied a straight armbar for the victory.
Coenen’s first title defense came four months later against powerful prospect Carmouche, a replacement for injured top contender Miesha Tate. Carmouche took over the fight as the rounds wore on, the “Girl-Rilla” scoring repeated takedowns and dropping punches on the champion. Coenen showed great heart, however, and managed to lock up a triangle choke early in the fourth period to retain her title in thrilling fashion.