Ronda Rousey will look for become the first Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion to successfully defend the title since Marloes Coenen, when she takes on former champion Sarah Kaufman.
Rousey (5-0) has become the face of women’s mixed martial arts since she defeated Miesha Tate earlier this year.
Since that bout, she has took part in ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and being on the cover the body issue of ESPN The Magazine.
She has started her professional MMA career with five armbar submission victories and all of this wins have come in the first round. Prior to her bout with Tate, her longest fight lasted 49 seconds.
Her fight tonight against Kaufman (15-1) will be the biggest test in her young career and faces a fighter that is known for her striking. Since she has finished all her opponents so quickly, the belief about Rousey’s game is that striking is her weakness.
Kaufman started her career with eight straight knockout victories, but five of her last seven victories are by decision.
This is a classic matchup of a grappler taking on a striker. Rousey will look to get this fight to the ground as quickly as possible and Kaufman wants to keep the fight standing.
Rousey may want to prove her critics wrong, by showing she can stand and strike with her opponent. However, that may not be the best game plan for her to retain her title. On the other side, Kaufman will attempt to stay away from the ground game and force the champion to win a striking battle.
Rousey is an overwhelming favorite tonight at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. If Kaufman is able to stop the takedown attempts, she could become the first women in Strikeforce history to hold the title on two separate occasions.