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Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman Media Conference Call Recap

Strikeforce held a media conference call with the headliners of the upcoming Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman card today.

Undefeated current STRIKEFORCE women’s bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey and former titleholder Sarah Kaufman will be available to discuss their upcoming main event bout at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Calif. on Saturday, Aug. 18.

This action-packed card from Valley View Casino Center will air live on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) while preliminary fights will be shown live on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 8 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast).

Highlights from the conference call below thanks to

Scott Coker

  • We’ll see how both Derek Brunson and Jacare Souza do and we’ll circle back and take it from there.
  • Cyborg is out until the middle of December and we’ll have to talk to her at that time and see what her interest is in regards to going down in weight. Cyborg talked about going down to 135 but nothing is confirmed. We’ll have to wait until she gets off suspension to get things under way. She is still under contract.

Ronda Rousey

  • I respect both Miesha and Sarah as athletes, but I don’t have any problems with Sarah at all. She’s a pretty cool chick.
  • I’ve been working on the fluidity of my striking a lot more, mixing it with my grappling and stuff like that.
  • I just have different work to do. Before, I had to work three jobs and be training all the time. It’s easier now because I am doing this media stuff instead of having to work all the time.
  • I’m now much more focused on retaining the title than basking in having it.
  • If people want to look at me as a role model for young girls, that’s ok but the only person I feel a responsibility for is my younger sister. I’m not asking people to be exactly like me or repeat my mistakes but I try to be as ambitious as possible and as unapologetic as possible. I’m happy to play that role.
  • I want to be as underestimated as possible. I don’t feel as much of a need to give any details.
  • Dana impressed me a lot. It wasn’t too long ago that he told TMZ that women would never be in the UFC. He’s a wise businessman and he sees the potential of women. I think he’s warming up to it.
  • I don’t want to change anything at all. I was raised not just to win matches, but to defeat my opponent. I felt like if I didn’t finish the fight, if it went to the referee, it didn’t matter. I wanted to be good enough to win every match twice on a bad day. I don’t want to leave any doubt that they might have a chance of ever beating me.
  • Being able to have awesome seats to every UFC event I go to is a big perk. I’m a fighter and I love fighting. I love having the good seats for fights.
  • In judo, you fight several times in one day and my mom always told me that “you’re only as good as your last match.” Every fight is as important as the one before. You don’t start ahead just because you did good in the quarterfinals. I treat every fight like everything I’ve ever done is on the line. Everything on the outside doesn’t compare to the pressure I’ve put on myself.
  • I just feel very blessed to have shared an experience with them and I was concerned about how the team would fare when I was gone. I’m very happy to see USA judo is on the right path, in very good hands and no one is more deserving than them.
  • After this fight, I’ll let you know my intentions (about Cyborg)
  • I was up at Cesar Gracie’s for two stints of two weeks. I got a lot out of it. They teach you things outside your typical training camp and they train however they feel, whenever they want. It’s a different style. I think that change keeps you interested and keeps fighting from being a novelty.
  • It was a little bit intrusive. It was funny dealing with the sound guy and the boom mic in my face. The crew was very professional and very reputable and I have no doubts that they’ll do a good job with the series.
  • This is a real career that you can make a real living off of. In women’s sports, that’s not an easy thing to come by. The more that come in, the more stable we’ll be. Whether they want to promote their own sport or find a good way to make a living, women’s MMA is here to stay. I see more and more girls coming up and with Showtime and other promotions like Invicta developing new talent, I see only positive things coming into MMA. Women were hesitant before because it wasn’t a secure career option. We’re here to stay.
  • I think women in general all have something to prove. We all have a chip on our shoulders and should be angry about the lack of respect we receive. I think women get more emotional and come out slugging. There’s no feeling out period and wanting to walk away with a better number on their record. A lot of guys can get away with that because to be honest, their sport is not in peril.
  • I’ve been putting the same amount of pressure on myself since the beginning. I took the responsibilities on myself to make it relevant. I feel like I’ve been doing a good job so far. We’re the main event for the second time in one year. When has that ever happened before? It’s not like I feel like I have to do it. I don’t casually walk after my goals, I break after them with an ax.

Sarah Kaufman

  • I’ve been putting myself in uncomfortable spots in training so I don’t end up there in the fight. I’ve worked with phenomenal grapplers. It’s been a great camp with my team and I’m looking forward to what Ronda brings in the cage.
  • It doesn’t bother me. I think Ronda’s handled the attention really well. I truly believe that Ronda is an athlete first and foremost when it comes to training versus fun and you don’t get to be a world champion and a medalist at the Olympics from sitting back and enjoying things. I’ve been training really hard and that’s all I care about. The fight’s going to show who’s been training the most.
  • I think I have an advantage in striking in the sense that I’ve been doing it for so much longer. There are definitely things that I feel stronger at. I’m prepared for a lot of different aspects and if people consider me as just a striker, that’s great.
  • Women in MMA have always been vying for legitimacy. Over time we’ve proven that. There’s so much that can happen in the fights and fans want to see those fights. Especially being the main event and having that slot and the force behind you and people supporting that, you definitely want to make sure you’re putting on a good performance. You don’t want to be the example of “this is why women shouldn’t have the spotlight.”
  • I don’t think Ronda’s armbar is unstoppable. It’s something that could happen, but it’s something that I’m prepared for. It does create an aura of “she’s won every fight by the same thing” and I was under the same thing when I won by eight knockouts in a row. It’s a mystique and you have to be prepared for it.
  • I have no illusions that striking hasn’t been a focus and that I’m going to be untouchable on the feet. I’m training as if she is a good striker and a good person on the ground. I want to be prepared for the best, not assume that she’s lower in that level.
  • Being a 6-1 underdog doesn’t bother me at all. I hope my friends can make a lot of money betting on me winning the championship.
  • My confidence never wavered. You start fresh and start again with a new fight. Yes, I want the title. Yes, I want to beat Ronda, but it could be anyone. I want to do whatever I can to make sure I get my hand raised at the end.
  • It has been a long road and I’ve tried to push women’s MMA along since I first fought for Strikeforce and women had a title fight on Strikeforce. It’s an amazing place. It’s the main event on a big card and both Showtime and Strikeforce are supporting that. That’s all I can ask for.

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