Sarah Kaufman reflects on awkward build-up to Ronda Rousey fight that included ‘latex sex suits’

Ronda-Rousey-Sarah-Kaufman
PhotoCred: YouTube

On February 26, 2010, Sarah Kaufman became the first ever Strikeforce bantamweight champion when she defeated Takayo Hashi via unanimous decision.

The champion would defend her title once against future top flyweight, Roxanne Modafferi before dropping it to Dutch pioneer, Marloes Coenen.

Three big wins later over Megumi Yabushita, Liz Carmouche, and Alexis Davis, and the inaugural champ would find herself set to challenge for the title once more… But this time it was against the new red-hot undefeated Judoka, Ronda Rousey.

Unfortunately for Kaufman, she would fall victim as everyone did to Rousey back then by suffering defeat in the form of a first-round armbar in only 54 seconds. Fast forward seven years later and Kaufman would become the Invicta FC bantamweight champion now preparing for the Professional Fighters League’s (PFL) 155-pound lightweight tournament. Meanwhile, Rousey is off doing her thing in professional wrestling and retired from MMA.

Recently getting a chance to reflect on that fight and the build-up to it, Kaufman remembered a very odd part of the process that both fighters went through to get to the fight.

“There were a lot of things going on there,” Kaufman said on the Pull-No-Punches podcast when recalling a fight promo they did for Showtime. “We had to wear latex sex suits with zipper crotches and gogo boots up to our knees. It was the most absurd photo shoot that I have ever done.

“I was specifically told, ‘we have this idea for the promo. It’s going to be good vs. evil and Ronda is going to be in an all-black pleather suit. She is going to look so bad-ass… She’s going to look like a movie star.’ I said, ‘okay, well what about me?’ ‘Well, you’re the other one,’ One of the palest fighters in the planet in an all-white pleather latex suit.”

Throughout her career, Canada’s Kaufman has established herself as one of, if not the most underrated female fighter of all time. And going into the PFL lightweight tournament, she believes that it’s hers to lose. Which is a hard claim to argue against when considering she has by far the most MMA experience out of the rest of her seven competitors.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/3/2019