Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sarah Kaufman vs. Roxanne Modafferi: The Most Meaningful Female MMA Bout All Year

Thus far in 2010 we've witnessed 145-pound Strikeforce champ Cris "Cyborg" Santos wreck an inferior fighter and utterly destroy someone who had no business being in the same cage.  We've also seen Zoila Frausto unseat top-ranked 125 pounder Rosi Sexton in Bellator, and in one of the few serious bouts on that goofy Moosin card we saw Roxanne Modafferi avenge a 2006 loss to Tara LaRosa with a razor-thin split decision.  But only now, in August, are we getting a female MMA bout with some real meaningfulness.  That's right, I'm talking about Roxy squaring off against Strikeforce 135-pound champ Sarah Kaufman on Friday's Strikeforce Challengers event on Showtime.  For unlike the rest of 2010's offerings, a champ is facing a legitimate challenger - a challenger who belongs in that same weight class and who isn't foolishly fighting up - and when you compare them side by side, it's clear you've got a compelling pairing.  Roxy can throw and take a punch, can play the submission game as well as any of them, and has got a wealth of experience fighting the best.  Kaufman, meanwhile, has got the best hands in her division and has never tasted defeat.  In other words, these ladies are very capable of kicking each other's asses - a fact that goes a long way in making this one worth watching.  Sure, Bellator's upcoming eight-person, 115-pound female tournament is going to rock, as will whatever tournament Strikeforce is putting together.  But this Friday we're getting Roxy against Kaufman, and it's the first meaningful female fight of 2010.