Strikeforce 135-pound female titleholder Sarah Kaufman got what she wanted. She’s the co-main event on the “Strikeforce: San Jose” fight card headlined by the rematch between Nick Diaz and KJ Noons on Oct. 9.
Heading into her last outing against Roxanne Modaferri, Kaufman went public with complaints that she should be on regular Strikeforce cards instead of being featured on the organization’s “ShoMMA: Challengers” series.
The media and fans rallied behind the 25-year old fighter’s cause, and she delivered by finishing Modaferri with a highlight reel slam that rendered Modaferri unconscious. The highlight was picked up by ESPN and shown on Sportscenter.
Now that she’s showcased as a co-main event on a major Strikeforce card, has it added any pressure to perform?
“For me it’s just another fight. Always as a fighter you want to win the fight, but also you have to be aware of the fans and the fact that people want to watch exciting fights and they don’t necessarily want to watch a super technical five-round, 25-minute fight as good as those are,” Kaufman told MMAWeekly.com.
“It’s a happy medium. You have to make sure that you fight a smart fight, but also making sure that you’re not being what is called boring and stalling a fight. You always want those exciting fights.”
The undefeated Kaufman defends her title for a third time, taking on Marloes Coenen in Coenen’s 135-pound debut. Coenen is coming off a loss to Strikeforce 145-pound female titleholder Cris “Cyborg” Santos.
Strikeforce held a tournament won by Meisha Tate to crown a contender to Kaufman’s throne, but opted to give the title shot to Coenen instead garnering criticism in the process.
“As a fighter as long as I get to fight I’m pretty happy, and I always like to fight new people, so I think that’s great as well,” Kaufman said about Coenen being granted the title bout.
“I do see where people are saying she’s never fought at 135, which she hasn’t, so to get a title shot immediately is something people have been definitely criticizing. I can see their reasoning behind it. Why have a tournament and then have someone else fight for the title before them? But I’m just happy and I think she’s a great opponent. Hopefully she proves everyone wrong and she’s going to stay at 135,” added Kaufman.
Kaufman isn’t concerned too much with Strikeforce matchmaking. She knows her job is to win fights regardless who the organization puts in front of her.
“She’s been around the fight game for ten years, so that’s a lot of experience. I’m pretty sure I’m going to bring enough to bring that win home, but anything can happen,” said Kaufman. “I feel really prepared for this fight.”