by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com (Photo by Arnold Lim)
Undefeated Strikeforce women’s welterweight champion Sarah Kaufman is prepared to defend her belt for the first time when she faces Roxanne Modafferi on Friday at the Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash.
Kaufmann obtained the title on Feb. 26 by defeating Takayo Hashi by unanimous decision.
“I’m excited to actually get to defend the title because I don’t like sitting on the sidelines. Having had the last five months not knowing when I’m fighting has been hard,” she told MMAWeeklyRadio.com.
Her goal on July 23 is not only to defeat Modafferi, but to also graduate from the Strikeforce Challengers cards to a marquee Strikeforce event.
“My goal is to obviously get off the Challengers cards, so it looks like Roxanne is going to be the one to make that happen for me,” commented the 135-pound titleholder.
“I’d like to get off the Challengers cards because I think I might do a little bit better off of those cards. The Friday night is harder to get the extra sponsorships than the main cards. Hopefully when I get on the bigger shows I’ll get paid even more.”
Kaufman isn’t one to do a lot of trash talking leading up to a fight.
“I don’t smack talk. I just do what I do and kind of state my opinions,” she stated.
Kaufman likes to let her in-cage actions speak for themselves, but for this match-up, fueled by Modafferi predicting a finish, the Canadian has let a few verbal jabs fly.
“I definitely think it’s a great fight for me,” Kaufmann said. “I kind of heard that Roxanne is saying that she’s going to finish me in this fight and she hopes to get a knockout. That to me is intriguing.
“I hope she’s willing to stand in front of me and actually try and go for the knockout because that’s going to make an exciting fight and that’s definitely going to be where I’m going to win the fight.”
Asked if the comments made by Modafferi has motivated her to train harder or changed her approach to the fight, Kaufman said her focus on the task at hand is never compromised by anything.
“I don’t think it affects me at all as far as how hard I train. I train as hard as I can no matter what. To me, she’s either really game or she’s talking like she’s game and she’s not,” said the titleholder. “It’s one of the two, so either way I’m going to come in with the same preparedness as I would whether she’s game or not.
“I personally don’t think she’s going to try to knock me out, but we’ll see.”