When Ronda Rousey defends her Strikeforce bantamweight title for the first time on Aug. 18 against Sarah Kaufman, it will be her toughest test to date. At 5-0 for her career, Rousey has easily defeated every fighter that has stood on the opposite side of the cage, including Miesha Tate for the title. Kaufman isn't a slouch and could pull off the upset, but the odds aren't in her favor. Also fighting on the card will be Roger Bowling and Tarec Saffiedine, and Derek Brunson and Ronaldo Souza.
Who do the current odds favor?
Strikeforce bantamweight title: Ronda Rousey -650 vs. Sarah Kaufman +475
Rousey will put her undefeated streak on the line against the gritty Kaufman. All five of Rousey's fights have ended in the first round, which makes me wonder how she would handle a longer fight. That is something that Kaufman is going to want to find out. Kaufman is 15-1 in her career and hasn't had a one round fight since her second professional appearance in 2006. If she can tire out Rousey, things could get interesting and we could have a new champion.
I think Rousey is the second best woman fighter in the sport and should walk away with the win, but Kaufman is as tough as it comes.
Ronaldo Souza -485 vs. Derek Brunson +385
This fight is likely to determine the next challenger for the middleweight title currently held by Luke Rockhold. Jacare Souza is a former champion looking to get back in the hunt. Since dropping the title to Rockhold, Souza has won just one fight (Bristol Marunde), while Brunson is coming off the first loss of his professional career.
Souza is a talented fighter, but Brunson has a chance to be a star in Strikeforce. Just because he has a chance to make a name for himself doesn't mean he gets the win. Souza wins, but it will be difficult to make a lot of money without taking a big risk.
Tarec Saffiedine -300 vs. Roger Bowling +250
Ovince St. Preux -600 vs. T.J. Cook +400
Lumumba Sayers -380 vs. Anthony Smith +260
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
- Martial Arts
- Sports & Recreation
- Ronda Rousey
- Sarah Kaufman
- Ronaldo Souza
- Derek Brunson
- Tarec Saffiedine
- Roger Bowling