In what most assume is a battle to be the number 1 contender for the Strikeforce 135-pound Championship currently held by Marloes Coenen, Sarah Kaufman ranked number 2 by the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings takes on 6th ranked Liz Carmouche at Strikeforce Challengers 17 on July 22nd at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Kaufman (13-1), the first ever Strikeforce 135-pound Champion won the belt by defeating Takayo Hashi on February 26, 2010. She then successfully defended her belt with a powerbomb knockout of Roxanne Modafferi last July, but lost her title to Coenen in October via a third round armbar submission. Kaufman rebounded in her last outing, stopping Japanese veteran Megumi Yabushita via TKO. Carmouche (5-1) began her career in 2010 and was victorious in each of her five fights, including a dominant third-round stoppage of Jan Finney last November. Carmouche then replaced an injured Miesha Tate on very short notice to face Coenen for the title, surprising many by controlling the champion on the ground for much of rounds two and three before falling victim to a triangle choke in round four. Now, she and Kaufman face off with another shot at Strikeforce gold on the line.
**This event will be televised LIVE on Showtime starting at 11pm EST.