KIM COUTURE TO TACKLE MIESHA TATE AT
SHO MMA: STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS MAY 15
Plus Aaron Rosa Faces Anthony Ruiz at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.
Live on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT
NEW YORK (April 20, 2009)—Mixed martial arts (MMA) upstart Kim “Sugar Free
” Couture (1-1), wife of MMA legend Randy Couture, will take a major step
up in competition when she squares off with fearsome submission expert
Miesha Tate (5-1) in a 135 lb. limit in a live, SHOWTIME-televised contest at
the inaugural SHO MMA: Strikeforce Challengers event at Fresno, California’
s Save Mart Center on Friday, May 15.
SHO MMA: Strikeforce Challengers is a proving ground for up-and-coming MMA
fighters. SHO MMA provides today’s top prospects with the opportunity to
step-up their level of competition and demonstrate their ability in a
nationally televised event.
In addition, Aaron Rosa (11-2) will face Anthony “A Train” Ruiz (21-12)
in a light heavyweight (205 lb. limit) fight on a fight card headlined by
undefeated lightweight (155 lb. limit) Billy Evangelista (9-0) versus BJ
Penn protégé “Iron” Mike Aina (11-6-1).
The SHOWTIME telecast will air live beginning at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on
the West Coast) and feature up to five live fights.
“I think she’s definitely in for a surprise and this is going to be a
little bit over her head,” said the 22-year-old Tate, who has been on a tear
of late, stopping each of her last three opponents in the first round.
“I do respect the fact that she chose to fight me,” said Tate, who is
considered a veteran over the inexperienced Couture. “I think she’s really
tough and, at heart, she’s a fighter. She wants to fight people who are going
to push her.”
A native of Olympia, Washington, Tate was introduced to wrestling during
her teen years when a girlfriend convinced her to join their all-boys high
school wrestling team. Tate’s passion for the sport developed as she
learned. Eventually, wrestling led Tate to join the MMA club at Central
Last year, Tate enlisted with Victory Athletics, the elite fight squad
headed by MMA star and two-time Matt Hughes conqueror Dennis “Superman”
“He’s got so much to offer technically,” she said about her mentor. “He
comes from a wrestling background so his fighting style is very similar to
the one I want to develop.”
The 33-year-old Couture said, “(Tate)’s been wrestling for a long time
and I’ve only been wrestling for four years, but I’ve been learning from
“My training partners are Xtreme Couture fighters so I feel like I have
the Cliff Notes I need to be successful in this fight. I’ve been pushed and
supported by the best guys in the business.”
Couture earned her first professional victory by pummeling an overmatched
Lina Kvokov in the first round of their Strikeforce meeting at the HP
Pavilion in San Jose, California on November 21, 2008. The victory came shortly
after she had adopted K-1 superstar Ray Sefo as her new kickboxing
It is in the area of punching and kicking that Couture feels she will have
the upper hand in the fight with Tate.
”Her stand up is not strong. Before she gets to the clinch or a takedown,
she’s going to have to get past my hands,” said Couture. “My Muay Thai is
really good right now and I’m very confident that, if we get to the
clinch, she’s gonna have a hard time taking me down.”
Rosa, who hails from San Antonio, Texas, was victorious in his first 10
starts as a professional. Following two straight defeats, he returned to
the win column in his last start by stopping Ron “Killing” Fields in the
second round of their meeting in Chicago, Ill., on June 14, 2008.
The 31-year-old Ruiz, a former Strikeforce light heavyweight championship
challenger, last saw action at Strikeforce’s second event at the
world-famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he lost a unanimous
decision to former South African national wrestling champion Trevor Prangley.
Tickets for the first SHO MMA: Strikeforce Challengers event are on sale
at the Save Mart Center box office and select Save Mart Supermarkets as
well as at all Ticketmaster locations (800-745-3000), Ticketmaster online
(_www.ticketmaster.com_ (http://www.ticketmaster.com/) ) and Strikeforce’s
official website (_www.strikeforce.com_ (http://www.strikeforce.com/) ).
Strikeforce is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion
which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie”
event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California
state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion
Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San
Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265.
Since 1995, Strikeforce has been the exclusive provider of martial arts
programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world
championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts
series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the
parent company of Strikeforce, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports &
Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation
aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose.
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