The Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title resides with newly crowned champion Ronda Rousey, but former titleholder Sarah Kaufman plans to return the belt to Canada after the two meet later this year.
Kaufman seemed poised to take on Miesha Tate in a rematch for the Strikeforce women’s 135-pound title. She holds a win over Tate, but Rousey bypassed Kaufman in line for the title through effective campaigning and creating a buzz around the match-up. Rousey’s Olympic medal winning background in judo and undefeated MMA recorded didn’t hurt either.
Tate vs. Rousey headlined the March 3 Strikeforce event at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Kaufman competed on the undercard, winning a hard-fought decision over Alexis Davis. The win over Davis secured a title shot for the former champion, and Kaufman plans to return to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, with belt in hand.
“The fight between Ronda and myself is a huge fight and I think it’s a great stylistic fight for me,” Kaufman told MMAWeekly.com.
“You know what Ronda’s going to do. Ronda knows what I’m going to do. It’s going to be who can do it better and I honestly don’t see her doing it better than I’m going to do to her. So I’m looking for that title to come back to Victoria,” said Kaufman.
Leading up to her title bout with Tate, Rousey regularly fed the media with sound bites of smack talk. Somewhere along the way it became personal. Kaufman isn’t concerned with what is said leading up to the impending showdown. She does her talking in the cage.
“You can’t have the same build-up for every fight. If every build is, oh these two are, Ronda’s at it again. She’s shocking and Sarah is trash talking back; I think that gets old,” she said.
“It’s good to have the different type of characters if you will. Ronda is a little bit more of a trash talker. She’ll just say anything whereas I’m the person that’s going to say what I believe and say what I think is the truth, but in a little bit more of a calculated way — just a little bit more caution with the awareness of who my fans are and how I represent myself. I think that’s a really good thing for the sport. You get to see the different sides of people,” continued Kaufman.
“I’m this nice person and in the cage I’m an animal. That’s what I want. I want people to know me for my fighting.”
Kaufman wants to become known as a two-time Strikeforce champion. She’s earned that opportunity. All that stands in her way is Ronda Rousey.