Ronda Rousey is generating plenty of attention ahead of her Strikeforce bantamweight title defense Saturday, but challenger Sarah Kaufman believes people may be overlooking her ability to take the champion’s belt.

“They’re forgetting that I had the Strikeforce title,” Kaufman told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “They’re almost looking at it like, oh, I have no fights and I’m just some scrub who’s getting put in the cage and I’m going to get killed in five seconds. You know, Ronda’s only had five fights. Looking at that, on paper you would think that I would actually have the advantage, but people are clearly on the Ronda hype train, and hype really changes how people perceive fights.”

Rousey’s ascent in MMA has certainly been a rapid one. A bronze medalist in judo at the 2008 Olympics, she became a Strikeforce champion after just five professional fights when she submitted Miesha Tate in March. Her media rounds ahead of her first defense have included a photo shoot for ESPN the Magazine’s The Body Issue and an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show on TBS.

“Ronda has done, and been able to do, a lot of really good things when it comes to extra media and things that get people talking,” Kaufman said. “ESPN Body Issue and ringing the bell [at the New York Stock Exchange] -- there’s just a lot of things happening that should get coverage, and I’m glad they have gotten coverage.”

Meanwhile Kaufman has been overshadowed, though. She might spark more attention if she were willing to spar verbally with the outspoken Rousey, but that’s not her style.

“I’m trying to hype the fight in a way that I deem appropriate for myself,” Kaufman said. “I’m not going to make something up or get caught in a word battle because that’s how I think a fight has to be hyped. There’s so many ways to hype a fight. I’m really looking at this as I’m coming back. I’m the former champion, lost my one fight. I’ve made my way back. Ronda got kind of a gift in stepping over me and got the title fight with Miesha. She won the title, and now I want to win it back. To me, that’s an interesting story and it’s an exciting story for fans to follow. I don’t think there needs to be verbal trash talk and bashing each other personally or as athletes to make this fight exciting or make people want to watch it.”

Kaufman is complimentary of Rousey, praising her composure, her competitiveness, and her submission ability. At the same time, however, Kaufman doesn’t think Rousey has fought strong opposition outside of Tate.

“I don’t necessarily consider those wins to be nearly as substantial as beating Miesha, who is definitely a better opponent, but Miesha’s beatable,” said Kaufman, who outpointed Tate in May 2009. “She’s been beaten three times. I fought Miesha. Again, it’s a great win against a well-known and well-respected fighter, but Miesha’s just not on the same level as I am in different areas that I think will counter Ronda’s ability to have her game go her way.”

In Kaufman’s view, Tate either used a poor game plan against Rousey or let her emotions affect her -- and still had some early success in the fight before getting submitted. Kaufman’s confident she can capitalize in ways that Tate could not.

“If people want to kind of overlook me and think that I’m just going to get stepped on really fast, that’s great for me because I’m considered an underdog and who doesn’t like being an underdog?” Kaufman said. “When you win, it’s that much better.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:58:35).

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Amanda Nunes: UFC trying to protect Ronda Rousey's psyche ahead of UFC 207

  • 28 days ago
  • 59 views

LOS ANGELES – Amanda Nunes says she believes UFC chiefs are trying to protect Ronda Rousey’s psyche by making her the singular focus of promotional efforts for UFC 207.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

The Question: Does Ronda Rousey Have a Future in MMA After UFC 207?

  • 25 days ago
  • 23 views

In 2015, Ronda Rousey had the whole world's attention. She was demolishing foes in a way never seen before. She was setting pay-per-view records. She was main eventing shows around the world. She was read news >>

Fighters react to Ronda Rousey's media blackout ahead of UFC 207

  • 24 days ago
  • 535 views

One of the top stories leading into Friday’s UFC 207 event surrounds Ronda Rousey’s decision to impose a media blackout prior to her women’s bantamweight championship headliner with Amanda Nunes.File read news >>

The best UFC photos from December, including Ronda Rousey's devastating loss to Nunes

  • 13 days ago
  • 82 views

Ahead of the start of the UFC’s 2017 calendar year, it’s time to take a look back at the best UFC photos from December and its five cardsFiled under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

It's official: Ronda Rousey will not take part in UFC 207 media activities

  • 29 days ago
  • 210 views

It looks like Ronda Rousey is going to keep up her MMA media blackout right through fight week at UFC 207.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Ronda Rousey: UFC 207 Gracie Breakdown Video | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 18 views

Rener and Ryron Gracie break down some of Ronda Rousey's best moves before she takes on Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 for the bantamweight championship. read news >>

Ben Rothwell: If Ronda Rousey can't rally after two losses, 'she's a loser and never was a champion'

  • 13 days ago
  • 15 views

Everyone has an opinion on what should be next for Ronda Rousey following her crushingly unsuccessful return to the octagon against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 this past month.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Trading Shots: What is it about Ronda Rousey that evokes the mainstream hot takes?

  • 13 days ago
  • 48 views

In this week’s Trading Shots, Ronda Rousey’s recent loss spurned a wave of questionable responses from the broader sports media. If that’s what mainstream attention looks like, is it really a good th read news >>

Ronda Rousey Posts Instagram on Future After Knockout Loss to Amanda Nunes

  • 12 days ago
  • 73 views

Ronda Rousey broke her silence Monday, taking to Instagram with her first post since her Dec. 30 loss to Amanda Nunes: Rousey had been radio silent since her first-round knockout loss to Nunes at UFC read news >>

Former UFC champ Ronda Rousey fuels more questions about future with new Instagram post

  • 12 days ago
  • 240 views

Short of a brief and largely canned post-fight statement, former UFC champion Ronda Rousey has been silent since her 48-second knockout loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 this past month. Today, she too read news >>