Rousey Meets Kaufman In Strikeforce Title Defense
By: Matty Simo
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Saturday’s Strikeforce event features unbeaten women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey against Sarah Kaufman while former champ Miesha Tate tries to state her case for a rematch earlier in the night when she faces Julie Kedzie in one of eight other fights on the card.
The prelims for Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman get underway at 8:00 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on Showtime Extreme from San Diego with the main card scheduled to begin at 10:00 p.m. on Showtime.
Rousey (5-0) has quickly become one of the most famous fighters in MMA thanks to her dominant style – finishing all five of her opponents via armbar submission in the first round – and spunky personality. UFC president Dana White even went so far as to say she is the one female he could see fighting in his organization at some point down the road. Bettors have seen Rousey destroy all of her foes thus far in her career, including the last three as big favorites, and she opened as heavy chalk once again at -575 for this bout according to the Don Best odds screen with the line as high as -700 at some sportsbooks.
Kaufman (15-1) has seen just one of her 16 fights end in the first round, as she knocked out fellow Canadian Sarah Draht in just 17 seconds back in 2006. Since then, the former champ's last 14 bouts have all at least gone into the second round with the past eight going into the third or longer. That could be a factor working in favor of Kaufman (+400 to +475) against Rousey, who has yet to be tested but came close to going past the first round against Tate on March 3. Rousey’s previous seven MMA bouts (pro and amateur) all ended within a minute.
Two of the three career losses for Tate (12-3) have come against Rousey and Kaufman, and she will be looking for redemption when she takes on Kedzie (16-10), the winner of Jackson’s MMA Series Women’s Bantamweight Championship. Tate is hoping for another title shot against the winner of Rousey-Kaufman, but Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos could also be in the mix if she drops down a weight class following her suspension for testing positive for a banned substance at the end of the year.
The other two main card fights have Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (15-3) against Derek Brunson (9-1) at middleweight and Tarec Saffiedine (12-3) vs. Roger Bowling (11-2) at welterweight. Souza’s only loss in the last three years came via unanimous decision to middleweight champion Luke Rockhold while Brunson will try to rebound from the first loss of his career against Kendall Grove by split decision for the ShoFight Middleweight Championship on June 16. Brunson opened as a +370 underdog against Souza (-470). Saffiedine opened as another solid favorite at -300 against Bowling (+240), as both fighters are trying to win their third in a row following losses.