One of the big questions we were asked last night during our Strikeforce chat was “Who’s next for Cris Cyborg?” This is a bigger issue than you’d think: while I disagree with Dana White’s assessment that there isn’t enough talent out there in women’s MMA, it is true that the majority of the awesomeness is all at 135 pounds. If it wasn’t for Gina Carano and her 9 pounds of succulent chest meat, I doubt there’d even be a 145 pound division right now. That means there’s not many more obvious big fights for Cyborg, but at least there’s still one in the chamber ready to go: Erin Toughill.
Erin is 10-2-1 with a KO win over Coenen as well as a 8-2-2 record as a boxer (including a loss to Laila Ali back in 2005). Most importantly, she’s a big girl and while I don’t expect her to come in stronger than Cyborg, I doubt we’ll be seeing her getting tossed around like Coenen was.
But who is Erin Toughill, the person? Well, she was the original backup opponent for Cris Cyborg back when it was a possibility Gina Carano was gonna flake out of fighting her. Since then she’s spent her time on the sidelines making fun of Kim Couture while recuperating from a blown ovary suffered in training.
Before that she spent a season alongside Gina Carano on American Gladiators, which brought her just enough into the spotlight for TMZ to dig up all sorts of dirt about her beating her MMA fighter husband and throwing a rock through his house’s windshield. Oh did I say house? I meant motorhome. Not that there’s something trashy about that or anything.
So the good news is we need someone who can beat up a manlike woman, and we currently have someone who’s already beaten on an honest to god man. If Erin Toughill can’t get’r done though, don’t worry too much: Strikeforce’s female tournaments start in April (complete with semis and the final on the same night! Squee!), and if they don’t skimp on the scouting there shouldn’t be any problem pulling a few more potential contenders from there.