Expect Aggressive Kaufman, Not a Reckless Raccoon


Tonight in Victoria, Sarah Kaufman will start her road back to the Strikeforce Women’s title when she faces Megumi Yabushita.At AFC 5, Kaufman will be looking to rebound in front of her hometown fans after losing her championship to Marloes Coenen.

“The fight (against Yabushita) is my most important fight,” says Kaufman, “regardless if it is for a title or not.”

Indeed, the next fight is always a fighter’s most important fight and Kaufman will be looking to dominate Japan’s Megumi Yabushita tonight.   Make no mistake, Yabushita is not be a pushover.  Yabushita (19-17) has a very strong Judo game and has 14 years of MMA experience behind her.  Megumi has great tosses and as Kaufman, who is still under contract to Strikeforce, says, “If I make mistake, I may be landing on my head.”

Regardless of Yabushita’s background and experience, this is Kaufman’s fight to lose.  It will be interesting to see how the 12-1 fighter performs after her first career loss.  Her ZUMA coach Adam Zugec echoes these thoughts.

“I think we will see a more aggressive Sarah.  I am really excited to see her fight without having to protect that zero.”

Was there a lot of pressure staying unbeaten?  Can Kaufman afford to take more risks now that she has a loss?  Kaufman answers,

“I liked having an O in my record.  I wasn’t disillusioned that I would have it my entire career.  There is a lot pressure to win every fight including the Megumi fight.  I like winning. I want to represent my ZUMA team and Adam.”

So how does one approach this fight against a Japanese national champion judoka? It is all about pressure, says Sarah.

“I want to dictate where the fight will be.  Fighters have trouble with pressure – it messes with people’s heads. I am looking to make a statement. I have added some new dimensions to my  game, but have kept the stuff that has made me successful.  I will pressure Megumi but I will not come out like a reckless raccoon.”

That recklessness that Kaufman wants to avoid is the lesson that she learned the hard way against Marloes Coenen.  As she was pounding away at Coenen while in her opponent’s guard, the referee started telling Coenen to ‘work’.  Smelling a finish, Kaufman believes she got careless and that led to her submission loss.

“Marloes has a lot of experience and she has a good guard. I had gotten a little excited.  Hopefully, you learn from mistakes.”

With a win over Yabushita, Kaufman would like nothing better than a rematch with Coenen or a bout with Liz Carmouche, who was recently submitted by Coenen.  While her next bout is yet to be determined, Kaufman hopes that there continues to be a strong Lady’s division in Strikeforce upon her return.  Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa recently and she hopes “that Zuffa really embraces the women, but I am worried that it is going to make the Lady’s division disappear in Strikeforce.  It is important that we have the major platform for women to aspire to.”

For now, Kaufman dismisses thoughts on her next fight and is focusing all her energy on Megumi Yabushita and performing well in front of the 2-3000 hometown fans.  Kaufman also thanks Adam Zugec and her ZUMA team as well as her sponsors Full Tilt Poker, DRAKO, Popeye’s Supplements Victoria, 100 Rounds, and Victoria Mobile Radio.

There a still a few tickets tonight if you are in the area or you can catch the show live on Internet PPV and watch Canada’s top MMA fighter in action.

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