Tara LaRosa is not taking any time off since she was eliminated by Sarah Moras in the first episode of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
LaRosa, whose fight career include 21 wins and three championships, will make her debut for Pancrase, one of the oldest MMA promotions in Japan. She will face undefeated Queen of Pancrase champion Rin Nakai in a non title match at the promotion’s 20th anniversary show, Sept. 29.
Although this will be LaRosa’s first time fighting in Japan, she is going to a place where many great fighters have gone before her and found success. Bas Rutten, Ken Shamrock and Josh Barnett are just a few UFC champions who at one time have been a King of Pancrase, the promotion’s name for one of their champions.
As for her opponent, Nakai is no pushover. She has racked up 14 wins with six submissions and four knockouts. While Nakai has the capability to finish her opponents, LaRosa’s has the edge when it comes to grappling skills and overall experience.
Besides Nakai’s fighting abilities, there are other factors that could play into the match from Pancrase officials, who came under scrutiny in 2012 after Nakai’s last fight with Danielle West.
Known to fans as “The Honey Badger,” West, who after coming in 1kg overweight, was forced by officials to cut weight a second time. This prevented her from re-hydrating. The officials also made a rule that West could not throw any knees or use any chokes against Nakai, who was free to both. In the past there have been rules to make things more fair for smaller fighters facing larger opponents, whether it is because the larger fighter failed to make weight or it was an open weight contest.
Nakai would end up winning the fight by decision. Had West even won the match, the contest would have been declared a draw or a no contest.
If LaRosa is able to make the proper weight cut and go on to defeat Nakai, she could be given the opportunity to challenge for the Queen of Pancrase crown at a later date.
Where would you like to see LaRosa fight after she faces Nakai? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.