Strikeforce Media Call: Ronda Rousey Hopes Striking Skills Are “Underestimated”, Sarah Kaufman Plans to Remove “Mystique” Surrounding Champ
By FCF Staff
Strikeforce held a media conference today in anticipation of the promotion’s upcoming August 18th event in San Diego, which will feature women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey taking on former champ Sarah Kaufman.
Rousey has taken the sport by storm since she transitioned into pro MMA last year, as the former Olympic Bronze Medalist in Judo has won all five of her pro bouts by first round, armbar.
After winning her first 12 fights and laying claim to Strikeforce’s bantamweight belt, Kaufman (15-1) was submitted by Marloes Coenen in October, 2010. Since the loss the Canadian fighter has won three straight.
The upcoming bout will be hosted by San Diego’s Valley View Center and will be broadcast live on Showtime.
Rousey, Kaufman and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker were all on today’s call; here were some of the highlights.
When asked why this bout hasn’t had the same, heated verbal exchanges that accompanied to her fight with Miesha Tate, Rousey relayed that she has no personal issues with Kaufman.
Kaufman stated you can’t focus “too much on one thing”, but acknowledged that she has been training with renowned grappler Sheila Bird to help prepare for the submission skills of Rousey.
Coker said that they will see how the bout between “Jacare” Souza and Derek Brunson unfolds before determining who will challenge for the promotion’s middleweight title next.
Rousey relayed that her schedule is actually less busy know, despite her growing celebrity status, due to the fact she no longer has to hold down multiple jobs as well as train.
When asked if the spotlight being on Rousey has helped Kaufman, the former champ stated that the attention her opponent is getting “doesn’t bother me at all.” She also said that she doesn’t believe Rousey’s training will be adversely affected by her media commitments.
When asked if she feels her striking capabilities are being overlooked Rousey stated “I hope they’re being underestimated”.
Kaufman acknowledged that she believes she has the advantage over Rousey in terms of striking, but also relayed that the decorated Judo competitor has the edge on the ground. The Canadian also reiterated that she continues to work on her grappling and that people may overlook her ground skills.
When asked about Rousey’s renowned armbar, Kaufman said she doesn’t “think it’s unstoppable”, and that she’s prepared to remove the “mystique” that currently surrounds the champion.
Rousey relayed that one of the favorite perks that has come with her success is “having really good seats for every UFC.”
When asked if her confidence has increased as a result of winning three straight fights, since her loss to Coenen, Kaufman said her “confidence never wavered”.
Coker relayed that Cristiano “Cyborg” Santos is still under contract with Strikeforce, and that the promotion will begin discussing the possibility of her fighting at bantamweight after she completes her suspension. Santos was suspended for one year, after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, following a bout with Hiroki Yamanaka last December.
Kaufman said she “doesn’t think so” when asked if people are overlooking her heading into the fight.
Some of the other bouts scheduled for the August 18th card include Souza vs. Brunson, Tarec Saffiedine vs. Roger Bowling, T.J. Cook vs. Ovince St. Preux and Tate vs. Julie Kedzie.