One of the most highly anticipated matchups of the year will transpire this Saturday, Aug. 18, live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) when popular MMA superstar Ronda Rousey makes the first defense of her STRIKEFORCE Bantamweight Championship against hard-hitting former titleholder Sarah Kaufman at Valley View Casino Center.
In other fights on SHOWTIME: Jacare Souza vs. Derek Brunson (middleweights); Tarec Saffiedine vs. Roger Bowling (welterweights); Lumumba Sayers vs. Anthony Smith (middleweights); and Ovince Saint Preux vs. T.J. Cook (light heavyweights).
The live undercard fights on SHOWTIME EXTREME® begin at 8 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The fights: Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie (bantamweights); Adlan Amagov vs. Keith Berry (middleweights); Hiroko Yamanaka vs. Germaine De Randamie (featherweights); and Bobby Green vs. Matt Ricehouse (lightweights).
What the main eventers said during the final press conference Thursday:
"I've had fights that I arrived the day before having to cut weight, I've had a fight where I had a pit bull bite on my foot and stuff like that. It doesn't matter. I see Sarah as an opponent and I've trained harder for this fight than any other fight before. I respect her so much and I'm not taking any chances. If I get her arm, I'm going to try and rip it off and throw it at her corner. If I get her to choke I'm going to hold onto it (for as long as I possibly can). If I get her to a knockout I'm not going to walk away. I'm going to try to pound her face into the ground. And that has nothing to do with whether I like her or respect her because she is a very nice chick. But every single time I come to fight I pretend as if it is my little sister's life depending on it and in that kind of situation nobody can ever beat me. I'm here to fight. I'm not here to do a little dance for you guys.''
"I have done quite a bit of media and press myself and I do think that there have been certain aspects focused on Ronda and she has done a great job of handling it really well. I have no doubt that she has trained fully for this fight and I don't think that the press has really affected her at all. I try to do the same thing. I focused on my camp. I worked with my team. I train as hard for whatever fight I have coming up. I trained harder than any other fight because I train as if that is the most important fight that is happening. I feel really confident going into this fight and I'm confident that Ronda is going to bring it. At the end of the day someone is going to walk out with the belt and I want that person to be me. You don't want to come in and play patty cake. That's not what we are here for. We are here to show up and do everything we possibly can to win. It gets people excited and people want to see two athletes showing up and fighting and not just trying to outscore the other person. They want to see someone decisively win a fight."