Wednesday, June 17, 2009
While Gina Carano and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos have seemingly become the Kleenex and Q-Tips of Women's Mixed Martial Arts, the truth is that there are a number of talented female fighters out there besides the American Gladiator and her August 15th opponent.
One of those fighters is Canadian Sarah Kaufman. This Friday, the Victoria, British Columbia native puts her undefeated record on the line against submission specialist Shayna Baszler on the Strikeforce: ShoMMA card on Showtime.
At 9-0, Kaufman boasts a better record than Carano, the highly photogenic "Face of Female MMA fighters." Interestingly enough, a win over Baszler on Friday could put the former ballerina in line to fight the winner of what is being billed as the biggest fight in the history of Women's Mixed Martial Arts between the two former EliteXC fighters.
Most recently, Kaufman handed Fight! Magazine pin-up Miesha Tate her second career loss with a hard-fought unanimous decision. Having fought in promotions including King of the Cage, UWC and TKO over her three year career, the current influx of female fighters making their way onto the Strikeforce roster could give Kaufman a much more permanent home moving forward.
While no plans have been announced as of yet, the aforementioned growing numbers in the female ranks could lead to the establishment of a Strikeforce women's title, something Kaufman would most certainly contend for.
Hype and publicity can do a lot for a fighter's career, and while she is certainly an accomplished fighter inside the cage, Gina Carano is not the only female fighter out there worth knowing. For my money, Tara LaRosa is the best female fighter on the planet, with Cyborg and Carano set to battle it out for the #2 position.
That being said, a tough girl from Victoria who found her way into the cage when an MMA school opened up in the same building as the dance school she attended will be looking to extend her perfect record into double digits on Friday night.
Sarah Kaufman is the real deal and a force to be reckoned with, household name or not.