Making her Strikeforce debut, Shana Olsen tries to make way to a title match with Cyborg Santos.With hardly any American contenders for Cyborg Santos’s 145 pound title, Shana Olsen is hoping to fill the void left by former U.S. contender Erin Toughill.
We got a chance to talk to Olsen on “Sportsgeeks” this week to talk about preparations for her fight verses Canadian kickboxer Julia Budd at Strikeforce Challengers in Fresno, CA airing on Showtime this Friday.
Olsen, currently ranked #6 in the Unified rankings, is coming off a win in one of the top female mma matches of the year, defeating fellow contender Yoko Takahashi this past April at the CFX card in Minneapolis.
Coming into the fight, Olsen sees that defeating contenders in the division is more than just working her way up the ladder. She also sees it as an opportunity to take on the world’s best 145 pounders.
“Both (Strikeforce) belts right now are held by international fighters,” Olsen observed. “Right now in the top ten I am one of the few fighters out of the U.S. It’s a huge thing. It’s such an international weight class now.”
Budd, a champion in Muay Thai, has the distinction of being the only woman to beat Gina Carano in kickboxing. Although Olsen is expecting Budd to stick to her guns and keep the fight standing, Olsen is aware that Budd has been competing in Grappler’s Quest to round out her game. Olsen, however, feels she has all the tools, whether they are standing or going to the ground.
“Everyone is like ‘You know she is a striker; she’s a Muay Thai fighter,’” Olsen stated. “That is my background too. I’m a striker. I train with Sergio Cunha, a world class Muay Thai fighter and instructor out of Chute Box in Brazil.”
“I have boxing. I have Muay Thai. I have wrestling, and I have jiu-jitsu. I come in with a more complete game I feel.”
This will be the first time Olsen has been on national television, and sees this as an opportunity to show the world that she is the rock solid contender for the Strikeforce 145 pound title.
“I am hoping to get myself out there to the public and let them see me fight,” Olsen expressed. “I want people to say ‘She should be the next one.’ I want everyone out there to be like, ‘Yeah, this girl can beat Cyborg,’”
Make sure to come back Friday, as Fightergirls will have video interviews from Strikeforce Challengers in Fresno.