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Japanese superstar Hiroko Yamanaka returns to Strikeforce

As Ronda Rousey and Sarah Kaufman contest for the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight title this Saturday, Hiroko Yamanaka will be stepping into the Strikeforce cage for the first time since her fight with Cris “Cyborg” Santos back in December 2011. She will be facing Germaine de Randamie.

Prior to fighting Santos for the Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight title, Yamanaka accumulated a 12-1 record that included the Smackgirl Open Weight Championship. Yamanaka’s fight with Santos ended 16 seconds into the first round after Cyborg unleashed a barrage of punches that forced the referee to stop the fight.

Although it was originally ruled a loss for Yamanaka, the California Athletic State Commission would overturn the result after Santos tested positive for anabolic steroids.

In an interview with MMA Japan, Yamanaka said that Santos was the strongest fighter she had faced.

“As for our fight, I definitely lost,” Yamanaka said. “So I couldn’t say anything. I was a little shocked [about the steroids]. Afterwards I didn’t really have any thoughts about it.”

Moving past Santos, Yamanaka is looking forward to step into the cage with de Randamie in a fight where she will “go with the flow.”

“I don’t want to fight to her strength, but I’m not very good on the ground,” Yamanaka said.

Although Strikeforce has the fight listed as 135 pounds, both Yamanaka and de Randamie confirmed that the fight will be at 145 pounds.