Strikeforce: Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman Main Event Predictions

Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterAugust 17, 2012

March 3, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; New champion Ronda Rousey  is escorted out of the arena by trainer Edmond Tarverdyan after defeating Miesha Tate during the Strikeforce Grand Prix final at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE


There's a full Strikeforce card this weekend, but you'd never know it.

All of the promotional focus has been squarely pointed at the main event. To be more specific, it's been pointed almost wholly at Ronda Rousey, and for good reason. She's one of the fastest-rising stars in the sport and has received a metric ton of mainstream attention over the past few months. 

It would be hard thing to refuse to allow all of those celebrity trappings to go to your head, but it would also be a very unwise thing to overlook Sarah Kaufman. 

The eyes of the world are turned to tomorrow night's Strikeforce main event, and the Caged In staff is doing the same. Check out our predictions for the Rousey vs. Kaufman bout below.

Jonathan Snowden: Everyone is counting Sarah Kaufman out. But something about Rousey is making my Snowden sense tingle. We've seen fighters tackle their new PR work load and fall to pieces in the cage. Miguel Torres and Urijah Faber come to mind. If Rousey's head is anywhere but in the cage, Kaufman will take advantage. Kaufman by knockout.

Jeremy Botter: I realize Sarah Kaufman is a good boxer. Actually, she's a very good boxer. She's very technically proficient and hits extremely hard. And still, she's way out of her league. Rousey is an athlete unlike anyone else in women's combat sports. She's just a different breed. And it doesn't matter how much better Kaufman is at the striking game, because it only takes Rousey one hand and a matter of seconds to put you flat on your back. From there, it's academic. I suspect this one will look almost exactly like every other Ronda Rousey fight. Rousey by submission, round 1

Matt Roth: Many people are probably overlooking Sarah Kaufman in this fight. Maybe it's that Ronda has been on an all out media blitz. Or maybe it's because Kaufman's title run in Strikeforce was so forgettable. There is a part of me that would love to see Kaufman put Rousey to sleep. Not because I dislike Rousey. No, I'd just love to experience when the air is sucked out of a room and that's exactly what would happen. But the realist in me says that Rousey is just better everywhere. So with that said I'm picking Rickson by arm...I mean Rousey by armbar. Rousey by submission, round 1

Duane Finley: Sarah Kaufman's approach and skill set are very well documented, while Rousey's full capabilities remain to be seen. I believe this puts all the cards on "Rowdy's" side of the table. There is a chance Kaufman will throw something heavy in the early-goings and catch Rousey, but that's a possibility in every fight. With that being said, I don't see it happening here. As soon as Rousey gets her hands on Kaufman, she is going to use her legs and hips to put the former champion on the mat. Once this fight hits the dirt, it is only a matter of time before Rousey grabs a limb and ends the fight. Rousey by submission, round 1

John Heinis:  "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey is for real: five fights, five wins and five armbars. The former Olympic Judoka bronza medalist has takedowns and armbars for days and no one has found a solution to overcome her high-level grappling just yet. Nevertheless, Kaufman is no slouch. Kaufman prefers to stand and bang, but she has grappling to fall back on if she has to. Kaufman will put up a fight in the early going, but Rousey is still going to be too much for her. Kaufman will be able to keep the first round competitive for a bit, but once the fight hits the ground, it's going to be exactly what you expect it to be. Rousey by submission, round 2

Scott Harris: It's tempting to just say "Rousey by armbar," set it and forget it. But Kaufman is an outstanding fighter, particularly as a striker. This matchup doesn't have the sexy sizzle of Rousey and Miesha Tate, but it might be a better fight. Rousey has never really faced adversity in a cage; a great striker has the tools to change that. But in the end, as with all her fights, it's Rousey's judo that makes the difference. Kaufman can slow it, but she can't stop it. Rousey by submission, round 2