twitter google

It’s official!

Strikeforce just sent out a press release for their Challengers event on July 23rd and Roxy will be taking on Sarah Kaufman for the 135 pound belt:

Unbeaten STRIKEFORCE Women’s World Welterweight (135 pounds) Champion and former ballet dancer Sarah Kaufman (11-0) will put her perfect record as well as her crown on the line against international star Roxanne Modafferi (15-5).

A pro since 2006, Kaufman knocked out her first eight opponents before earning a hard-fought decision over Miesha Tate during the first-ever STRIKEFORCE Challengers event on May 15, 2009.

Modafferi, of Wilmington, Del., is coming off the biggest victory of her career, a three-round decision over highly regarded Tara LaRosa last May 21. The 5-foot-7, 27-year-old Modafferi has won eight of her last nine starts. The loss came in her STRIKEFORCE debut against Marloes Coenen on the undercard of “Fedor vs. Rogers” on Nov. 7, 2009.

One of the most unique and eclectic fighters in MMA, Modafferi cannot only be defined by fighting alone. A long-time admirer of Japanese culture, she graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2005 with a major in Japanese Language and Literature and a minor in Linguistics. Her pro debut on Nov. 10, 2003, came in Japan during her junior year of college.

Soon after graduating college, Modafferi moved to Japan on a permanent basis after securing a full-time teaching position in which she taught English. Her earliest MMA victories came in Japan. But the lack of comparable competition made it virtually impossible for the terrific grappler to get fights, so she moved back to the United States.

Regarding her style, Modafferi says, “I put a lot of value in perfection, which is why I generally like grappling more than striking. I think it takes the perfect pressure, the perfect control, to pull off a beautiful submission hold. You take an armbar to the point of breaking, until the opponent gives up, and you let them go, unharmed. I think it’s smooth, beautiful and masterful. I don’t really want to break somebody’s face and make them bleed — just make them give up.”

Say what you will about Strikeforce putting another women’s championship fight on their farm league show and not even giving it the headlining spot (I blame Kaufman for stinking it up in her last fight), but I’m just glad they went and put this fight together. The average Strikeforce fan only knows Roxy from her last-second fight a weight class up against Marloes Coenen that resulted in a quick loss. It would have been very easy for them to ignore her ass whupping of Molly Helsel and win over Tara LaRosa in smaller promotions, but they didn’t hesitate in setting the fight up.