Yes this is what we all wanted and its going to happen, mmajunkie is reporting:
Indicating a possible upcoming change in policy for Strikeforce, the organization has slated a June 19 bout between female fighters Shayna Baszler (9-5) and Sarah Kaufman (9-0) for five-minute rounds rather than the usual three minutes.
Strikeforce executive Mike Afromowitz confirmed the change to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) just days after the organization announced a first-ever women’s title fight between Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos would also use five-minute rounds.
Strikeforce, which launched its MMA division in 2006, has traditionally limited women’s fights to three, three-minute rounds.
After getting the California State Athletic Commission to approve the five-minute rounds for the Aug. 15 Carano vs. “Cyborg” 145-pound title fight in San Jose, Afromowitz said the Washington State Athletic Commission also gave its approval for the Baszler vs. Kaufman bout. The fight takes place at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash., and airs as part of the Showtime-televised main card.
“Right now we’re taking the fights on a case-by-case basis because of the athletic commissions,” Afromowitz said. “We were able to get the Carano vs. ‘Cyborg’ fight approved for five-minute rounds, and now Washington has agreed as well.”
Could the five-minute rounds, which are standard in male fights, become the norm for Strikeforce’s female fights?
“We can’t yet commit to every women’s fight using five-minute rounds because we’re working with the athletic commissions in the various states we visit,” Afromowitz said. “But we hope to get to that point eventually.”
Afromowitz said as recently as last week that the decision hadn’t been made to make the longer rounds a permanent change. But the positive feedback garnered after the Carano vs. “Cyborg” fight announcement may been enough to sway company executives.
With the addition of Carano, Santos and other fighters after the collapse of EliteXC, Strikeforce will likely host more female fights than any other top promotion in the coming years. With criticism that the three-minute rounds penalize ground fighters while also holding female fighters to a different standard, Strikeforce’s three-minute rounds came under increased scrutiny in recent weeks.