Before Ronda Rousey became the face of women's MMA, Canada's own Sarah Kaufman was widely considered the pound-for-pound best female fighter in world.
That wouldn't last—the popular Rousey continued to rise undefeated through Strikeforce while Kaufman dropped a featherweight title defense to Marloes Coenen and a bantamweight championship bout to Rousey just three fights later.
Now, Kaufman has to make her comeback at Invicta FC 5, but still wants to angle for a rematch with Rousey.
During an interview with the MMA Underground, Kaufman talked about her previous win over potential Ultimate Fighter 18 coach Miesha Tate and where she wants to go if she notches a win on Friday in Kansas City:
Kaufman previously defeated Tate in her May 2009 Strikeforce debut by unanimous decision, but the two fighters are in very different places nearly four years later.
100% I want Ronda Rousey. I will continue to put on exciting fights and beat my way back to the top. Women (and the 135lb division) in MMA are in a great place right now. We have the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, and other organizations all putting on some amazing fights. I want to continue to be a part of that growth and push the boundaries even further. Miesha Tate
was also fun to punch in the face. I'd love to get that opportunity again, but this time, finish her before the final bell!
Both women would eventually lose title matches against Rousey, though, with Kaufman falling prey to an armbar in just 54 seconds.
Tate would rebound a win in her final Strikeforce bout and a UFC contract, where she's currently scheduled to fight Cat Zigano at the upcoming TUF 17 Finale in Las Vegas on April 13.
That match will be the second-ever female fight in UFC history, set as part of the event's main card.
Whoever wins that fight will go on to coach opposite of Rousey in the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter, which will include a mix of male and female bantamweight fighters—a rare first in the show's eight-year history.
Rousey and Tate are noted for having an intense rivalry, so a win for Tate could mean huge ratings for TUF and the UFC next season. Kaufman is one of the few female MMA bantamweights to have earned a UFC contract, so a victory at Invicta FC 5 might potentially start building her a solid case for a rematch with Rousey.
McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist. His work has appeared in NVision, PC World, Macworld, GamePro, 1UP, MMA Mania & The L.A. Times.