Saturday, June 11, 2011

Strikeforce adds Coenen vs. Tate, Lawal vs. Gracie to July 30 event

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Strikeforce has added a couple of fights to next month's "Fedor vs. Henderson" event at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., as a Strikeforce Women's 135 lb. Title fight between Marloes Coenen and Miesha Tate, as well as a light heavyweight bout between Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal and Roger Gracie.

Coenen and Tate will finally square off after their March bout fell through due to an injury to Tate. The two were supposed to meet at the event in Columbus, but Coenen ended up taking on Liz Carmouche on short notice, pulling off a come from behind submission in the fourth round to hold onto her title.

Tate earned her title shot last August with two wins in a one-night, four-woman tournament. The wins brought her current winning streak to five fights, including three straight in Strikeforce.

Lawal gets back into the cage for the first time since August of last year, where he lost his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship to Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante. The loss was the first of his career.

Gracie looks to win the fifth straight fight in his MMA career, coming off a January submission win over Trevor Prangley. The win was his second straight in the Strikeforce cage.

The July 30 card is headlined by a heavyweight bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson, airing live on Showtime.

Penick's Analysis: Both of these are great fights for this card in July. The Coenen-Tate fight is a great women's title bout, and it's great for Tate that she's finally getting the fight she earned last summer. Lawal-Gracie is a very good fight for both. Both bring a very good skill into the cage, with Lawal's wrestling and Gracie's submission game, and both have comparable experience in MMA thus far, and it makes for a very intriguing fight.


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