Bantamweight Sarah Kaufman was poised to present Ronda Rousey with the stiffest challenge of the unbeaten judoka’s career last August, entering the bout with a 15-1 mark, a well-rounded a set of skills, and wins over a number of respected peers. However, Rousey dispatched Kaufman in less than a minute with an Armbar, adding to her legend and ultimately creating enough momentum in the process to see the UFC open its doors to female fighters.
With Kaufman having since signed a deal to fight in the Octagon, the talented 27-year old is looking to pick up a win next month under the Invicta FC banner and then follow it up with a similar showing in her UFC debut later this year. If successful in her endeavor, Kaufman believes she will be in a great position to get another shot at Rousey and prove their initial encounter was more fluke than fight.
“I really don’t think (a title-shot) is very far off for me,” admitted Kaufman in an interview with MMAWeekly. “My last performance, I don’t even consider it a fight. I had a great camp for it. There are no excuses. Ronda came in and started fast. I didn’t really get to showcase any of my skills at all, and I really don’t even consider it a fight in my career. It happened. It’s on my record, but mentally it was more of a hiccup than anything else.”
The typically soft-spoken Kaufman clearly doesn’t expect Rousey to finish her so quickly if the two do face off again even if she’ll certainly be prepared for the possibility given “Rowdy” Ronda’s reputation for snapping limbs early and often. While some may criticize Rousey for relying so heavily on a singular technique, Kaufman actually finds it to be commendable and doesn’t fault the unbeaten UFC champion for her approach to procuring victory.
“She uses the one thing she’s good at – her Judo into a fast transition into the Armbar. She sticks with it. She gets it,” said Kaufman. “Sure, it’s one trick, but it’s been working, so why would you change it? You keep evolving your game, and if you need to, use it, but if you don’t need to, if you can get that win as fast as she has been doing, then why change that?”
Kaufman is scheduled to face Leslie Smith on April 5 at Invicta FC 5. She has gone on record as saying she’ll lobby for a spot on the UFC 161 lineup if she exits the affair with her hand raised, hoping to have her official Octagon unveiling come in front of her fellow Canadians.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE