It wasn't long ago that American athletic commissions thought female mixed martial artists could fight no more than three minutes at a time, in three-round fights, and that any more than nine minutes of fighting was too much for a delicate female body.
That was stupid, and it's good that women now fight five-minute rounds, just like the men do. When Takayo Hashi and Sarah Kaufman fight for the Strikeforce 135-pound women's title on Friday night they'll fight five minute-rounds, and it's a scheduled five-round fight. Hashi says she's ready to go 25 minutes if she has to.
"Preparing for this fight I focused more on cardio because this is five, five-minute rounds," said Hashi, who has fought five-minute rounds several times in Japan but has never fought more than three rounds. "I also tried to add more strength and physical conditioning in addition to my regular training."
As she prepares for her Strikeforce debut, Hashi understands that most American fans expect the Canadian Kaufman (a Strikeforce veteran) to beat her. But Hashi says she's ready.
"Sarah has great stand-up, she is tough and also has excellent cardio," Hashi says. "It is somewhat expected that I am the underdog, but I don't care too much what the critics say. My performance in showing what I can do is more important."
Below Kaufman talks about fighting Hashi: