Five months after snatching Strikeforce’s 135-pound women’s title with her gruesome/awesome arm-bending win over Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey will attempt to make her first belt-defense against Sarah Kaufman on August 18th in San Diego. MMAFighting.com confirmed the news, which should be officially announced by the promotion in the coming weeks.
No other fights for the 8/18 card have been reported yet, and the venue hasn’t been announced, although Strikeforce’s last two stops in San Diego — for Melendez vs. Masvidal and Diaz vs. Daley — went down at the Valley View Casino.
If Rousey can armbar her way through Kaufman, she may earn the dubious honor of facing Cris Cyborg in her next defense. As Scott Coker recently explained: ”I think (a fight between Rousey and Cyborg) is going to be inevitable. I think that fight will happen at some point. We’re just waiting for Cyborg to get off her suspension but that conversation will happen once she’s back ready to fight because her and Ronda at 135-pounds? That might be the highest rated show on Showtime for the year or for the past fights we’ve done. Women’s fights always rate well on Showtime and Ronda’s always delivered.”
So, two questions…
1) Does Cyborg deserve a title fight directly after coming back from a steroid suspension? What kind of a message does that send? Not that there’s a better option in terms of 135-pound contenders, but shouldn’t she be able to prove that she can compete cleanly before resuming her career as if nothing happened?
2) Will Sarah Kaufman foil these plans altogether? Since losing her own Strikeforce bantamweight belt to Marloes Coenen back in October 2010, Sarah Kaufman has won three straight, including decisions over Liz Carmouche and Alexis Davis. Of course, the fact that her only career loss came via armbar doesn’t bode well for her chances against Rowdy. But upsets happen all the time — especially when future superfights depend on the favorite winning. Any Kaufman fans want to make the case for her against Ronda?