Former Strikeforce women’s welterweight champion Sarah Kaufman meets former title challenger Liz Carmouche Friday night at Strikeforce Challengers 17 in Las Vegas.
The bout between Kaufman and Carmouche will co-main event the night’s action prior to Bobby Voelker and Roger Bowling’s final fight in their trilogy.
Back in April, the Zugec Ultimate Martial Arts pupil fought outside of the Strikeforce banner in order to keep busy, as it had been six months since she had last seen action in the cage. At AFC 5, in her home country of Canada, Kaufman defeated the Japanese journeywoman fighter Megumi Yabushita via third-round TKO.
“I have a non-exclusive (contract), so as long as Strikeforce gives me the okay and signs off on me fighting in another organization, I’m allowed to do that,” Kaufman told MMAWeekly Radio.
“This is not really a rival organization and they didn’t have a fight for me at the time. In order to keep busy, I think it’s been six months already, they said, ‘okay, we’re not going to use you for a while because Liz got pulled in to fight Marloes,’ in March I think it was, so our April fight got cancelled and it got postponed to the 22nd of July.”
The 25-year-old’s opponent, Carmouche, really made a strong showing, even in defeat, to Strikeforce champion Marloes Coenen, but Kaufman doesn’t believe her opponent is truly sharp in the aspects of striking and wrestling.
“I thought that she fought Marloes with a very smart game plan and it worked well and Marloes I don’t think was prepared for that game plan. There were certain things that I think she did really well. Obviously, she’s really strong, she’s got good conditioning even on short notice. There are other parts to her game that I’m not as impressed with, not super-refined striking or wrestling, but what she does works for her.”
Kaufman is looking to regain the glory she once had in the division following a win over Carmouche, but only if it’s an impressive one. The Canadian wants to display why she was champion and if she can pull it off, Kaufman will have gone through an opponent that current champion Marloes Coenen struggled with.
“If I win, she just had a title shot as well, and I actually had the title. It was my title and I lost it. So, to me in my head, if I have a good perfomance, I want that title back.”