Women's fighting is scratching and clawing for exposure and credibility. So when is it the right time for one of the champs to call out her promoter and network for lack of exposure? Apparently, now, for that's what 135-pound champ Sarah Kaufman did on her blog:
I am currently the Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Champion…yet I fought for the title on a Challengers Card. Now, I am set to defend said title against Roxanne Modafferi in just a few days – again – on a Challengers Card.
The Challengers cards, according to a Showtime spokesperson, are designed to put an early spotlight on up-and-coming fighters. Apparently, Kaufmann (11-0) doesn't think she's at that stage in her career.
I deserve to be on a main Strikeforce Card because I am a talented, exciting FEMALE fighter at 135lbs! I will NOT eat a ridiculous amount of cookies to make 145lbs JUST for the opportunity to be on a main card and growing man parts… well that would just be ridiculous :D
Boy, oh boy. It sounds like Kaufman is not only lashing out Showtime and Strikeforce but also the less-feminine looking Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. What did Cyborg do to deserve that cheap shot? Kaufman may want to pay closer attention to the 145-pound champ and actually finish some fights instead of going the distance every time out on the big stage. Her last fight, a five-round win over Takayo Hashi, was unbearable at times.
Update - Kaufman wanted to clarify her comments:
"I don't want it to be taken out of context," Kaufman told MMA Fighting when asked about the blog entry. "All I really meant is, for me, holding the [135-pound women's title], I'm the only title-holder that's fighting on the Challengers card. All the guys are fighting on the main cards for their titles, and [Cristiane] "Cyborg" [Santos] at 145 [pounds] is fighting on the main card for her title. That's my goal, to be fighting for a title on the main card."
The 145-pound women's champ gets to defend her title in the big show, as do all the male champs (for the record, Kaufman clarified that she was in no way suggesting that Santos has man parts, though some people may have initially interpreted remarks that way), but the 135-pound women's champ gets treated like an afterthought for some reason.
You can understand her frustration about not being treated the same way as the organization's other female champ, but that's the way it goes in the fight world. Frank Edgar and Mauricio Rua won't be treated the same as Brock Lesnar, Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre in the UFC. It's all based on viewership and marketability. Isn't it simply a statement that Kaufman is a main-event fighter on Showtime period? Better yet, it's the only major promotion in the world lifting a finger to push and build women's MMA. It's time for Kaufman to sit down and reassess reality when it comes to female fighting. Maybe we're a few hours away from hearing that the comments made weren't from Kaufman's real blog or someone else posted it.
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