Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman sees cardio edge at “Diaz vs. Noons II”


Strikeforce women’s welterweight champion Sarah Kaufman (12-0 MMA, 4-0 SF) cuts around 12 pounds to make the 135-pound limit required to defend her belt.
Her next opponent, Marloes Coenen (17-4 MMA, 1-1 SF), likely will have a much tougher road to the scale since she’s fought the bulk of her MMA career at 145 pounds.

And that could pay dividends if the fight hits the later rounds, the champion told (

“Going into rounds four and five, I definitely think I have an advantage for sure,” Kaufman said of her third title defense this Saturday in the co-main event of “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II” at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Coenen most recently took on Strikeforce women’s middleweight (145 pounds) champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos and was stopped in the third round when she failed to weather the Brazilian’s intense striking attack. Previously, this past November at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers,” Coenen made her promotional debut and met veteran Roxanne Modaferri at middleweight and grabbed a first-round submission victory. (Modaferri usually fights in the 135-pound welterweight class.)

But the Dutch fighter has a serious weight cut ahead, and Kaufman plans to apply the same kind of pressure that Santos did to test her challenger’s gas tank. She’s hopeful she’ll be able to end the fight much earlier as a result.

“I’m always aggressive, and I’m not going to change that in any of my fights,” she said. “So that will definitely play a part in it for sure.”

While the champ admits she’s concerned about Coenen’s height and reach advantage going into the Showtime-televised fight, she’s confident she can get inside to do damage.

“I always have the cardio to go full force into five five-minute rounds,” Kaufman said. “I don’t know if Marloes does. Making 135 pounds, it’s going to take a little bit out of her.”


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