Olympian Randi Miller to Make Pro MMA Debut in Japan

604_lgOlympic bronze medalist Randi Miller has been training for MMA off and on for years, and now faces a tough pro MMA debut match with a top contender for Cyborg Santos’s Strikeforce title.

Miller will take the trip to Japan to face #3 ranked 145 pounder Hiroko Yamanaka at the Shootboxing Girls S-Cup event Aug. 29 in Tokyo. The match is under “Vale Tudo” rules, which is essentially American professional MMA rules.

Miller won the Olympic freestyle wrestling bronze medal at 63 kg (138.6 pounds) at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and is a Pan American champion. She has been training with the H.I.T. Squad in Illinois, which is the home gym of the UFC’s Matt Hughes and Strikeforce’s Robbie Lawler; both world class wrestlers themselves.

Female Olympians making the transition to MMA has been a trend as of late. 2004 Athens Olympics silver medalist in freestyle wrestling Sara McMann has won her first 2 amateur MMA matches this summer, while Olympic bronze medalist in judo Ronda Rousey made an impressive amateur MMA debut a few weeks ago.

Top ranked Hiroko is on a five fight win streak, and her only loss has been to Strikeforce tournament participant #5 ranked 135 pounder Hitomi Akano, a loss she avenged earlier this year. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated in an interview with MMA Rising that Hiroko will be getting a shot at Cyborg Santos’s 145 pound title sometime in the near future.

If Miller wins the fight or makes an impressive showing, she will possibly get a top ranking in the 145 pound division, and could be signed to Strikeforce. It is yet to be said what weight the match will be, but Hiroko has made 145 in the past and seems to be the best bet for both fighters.

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