MMAJunkie.com is reporting that opponents are being matched up for an eventual Strikeforce card to be held in October. Of those currently planned matchups is a women’s title fight between Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight (135lbs) Champion Sarah Kaufman and top contender Marloes Coenen. Additionally, American Kickboxing Academy middleweight product Luke Rockhold will be taking on experienced MMA veteran Matt Lindland. Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz is also expected to appear on the card but there is no word yet on who is opponent will be.
At 12-0, Canadian mixed martial artist Sarah Kaufman is quickly establishing herself as one of the best female mixed martial artists around. Kaufman will finally graduate from the Strikeforce Challengers cards, a long overdue move considering she has held the belt since February. There was some speculation as to whether or not Kaufman would be facing recent Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight tournament winner Meisha Tate but it seems as though Tate will follow Coenen as Kaufman’s next opponent. Kaufman is coming off of a very impressive slam knockout win over Roxanne Modaferri from July.
Marloes Coenen is a Dutch mixed martial artist with a professional record of 17-4. She will be dropping down to welterweight for her title fight against Kaufman on the heels of a loss to Strikeforce Women’s Middleweight Champion Cristian “Cyborg” Santos. Coenen was stopped in the third round via TKO after putting up a valiant effort against the most vicious fighter in women’s MMA.
Team Quest mainstay Matt “The Law” Lindland is as experienced as they come. With a record of 22-7 and having spent time in the cage with fighters like Vitor Belfort, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Fedor Emelianenko, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Jeremy Horn, Pat Miletich, Carlos Newton and more, Lindland can count himself among the more well-traveled MMA veterans still competing today. He recently snapped a two-fight losing streak (to Belfort and Souza) with a TKO win over Kevin Casey.
Luke Rockhold is quickly establishing himself as a middleweight prospect to watch. He is currently on a six-fight win streak with all of those wins ending via stoppage. His overall professional record stands at 7-1; Lindland will present a step up in competition for Rockhold and will provide the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt a huge feather in his cap should he earn the victory when they meet.
Welterweight Champ Nick Diaz’s mandated suspension for his role in the infamous Strikeforce: Nashville brawl will have run its course by the time the proposed October 9th show rolls around but it is unclear if he will be defending his belt or if he will be taking on middleweight Jason “Mayhem” Miller in a grudge match which has its roots in that brawl.