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Strikeforce: Why Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman Is the Biggest Fight in August

March 3, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ronda Rousey punches Miesha Tate during the Strikeforce Grand Prix final at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterAugust 6, 2012

With all apologies to Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar, their main event at UFC 150 on Saturday night isn't the biggest fight to watch out for this month. It just isn't. 

That honor, esteemed reader, goes to Ronda Rousey and Sarah Kaufman, two extraordinary fighters who will take their own bow in San Diego next weekend. 

You probably think I'm nuts right about now, but allow me to explain myself. 

Rousey is a superstar in the making. I'm not talking about "a superstar in Strikeforce" or "a superstar for a female fighter." Rousey has already far surpassed those two niche monikers, leaving them coughing up dust during her meteoric rise over the past 12 months.

What Rousey is chasing now is a level of renown known by only a few of her male counterparts in the UFC. She's on her way to the territory currently occupied by Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. But in truth, she has the potential to be far bigger as a mainstream star than any of them.

And that's why every fight is important for Rousey, no matter the circumstance. There's a lot more at stake than just the Strikeforce bantamweight title.

Because, as Rousey goes, so goes female fighting. Her continued success will, without a doubt, lead to female fighters being accepted into the UFC's ranks within the next two years.

If Rousey falters and folks start losing interest in seeing females beating each other up in the cage? That's not so certain at all.

That's why, every time Rousey steps in the cage, it's considered an important fight. Especially when she's facing an opponent with the skills that Kaufman possesses.

Rousey's made easy work of everyone she's faced thus far—including Meisha Tate, who many thought would be too great all-around for Rousey to contend with. But Kaufman excels in the one area that we haven't seen Rousey develop just yet: the striking game.

I love that I'll get to see Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar tie up again on Saturday night. It should be a thrilling bout, full of the kind of twists and turns and submissions and kicks that MMA fans crave. But it's not the most important bout of the month. For that, you'll have to tune in to Showtime on August 17.

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