Strikeforce’s main event on Saturday night, Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman, is set to take place at 10 p.m. ET.
The Bantamweight Championship is on the line and this will be the first defense of Rousey’s reign as the champ since she submitted Miesha Tate in Columbus last March. Both Kaufman and Rousey have similar builds, with Rousey holding a one-inch reach advantage.
The hype around this fight has reached a pinnacle and the two women are ready to let their fighting do the talking.
Where: Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, California
When: Saturday, August 18 at 8 p.m. ET
Main Event Start Time: 10 p.m. ET
Odds: 1-to-8 in favor of Rousey, Kaufman is 5-to-1 (Bovada)
Rousey will have her hands full as she is taking on one of the best and most experienced 135-pound women currently fighting in Strikeforce. Kaufman has been participating in mixed martial arts for over 10 years.
Let’s take a look at how these two stack up against each other before weighing in on a prediction.
Fightmetric.com lists Kaufman’s take down defense as 86 percent, and she’s going to need to improve on that if she hopes to leave San Diego as the bantamweight champion.
Kaufman will have to stretch the fight out and use that to her advantage. Rousey wins quick fights, averaging a fight length of 1:23, while Kaufman’s fights have averaged over 13 minutes.
“Rowdy” needs to fight to her strengths, keeping Kaufman on the mat and not on the offensive. Kaufman is averaging 6.43 strikes landed per minute in comparison to Rousey’s 1.63. By keeping Kaufman horizontal, she can control the pace of the fight and cripple Kaufman’s strength at the same time.
If she can control the fight and utilize her judo to get Kaufman to the mat, Rousey's ability to finish things with her elite arm bar is second-to-none.
This fight is actually very predictable. Kaufman needs to avoid the take-down at all costs. She isn’t severely at a disadvantage due to reach, but it will be an issue for her as Rousey will be continually attempting to take her down.
Prediction: Rousey by arm bar in Round 2.
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