Newly-crowned Strikeforce Women's Champion Ronda Rousey has her first 135-pound title defense lined up for August 2012, where she's expected to face off against former division straphanger Sarah Kaufman at a location to be named.
But that wasn't always the plan.
Indeed, "Rowdy" was apparently penciled in to square off against Cristiane Justino this summer; however, "Cyborg's" failed drug test and subsequent suspension, which she unsuccessfully tried to get reduced to six months, foiled those plans.
It's too bad, too, considering the trash the two have been spewing back and forth at each other. Rousey kick started the feud by saying she has has "no respect" for a "cheater" like Santos, who answered back by setting her sights on the next big thing in women's MMA.
Caught in the middle of this is Kaufman, who vows to once again ruin Strikeforce's plan of putting the fight together for Showtime once Justino returns from her suspension. We know this because Scott Coker recently told MMAFighting.com the bout is "inevitable."
"I think (a fight between Ronda Rousey and Cristiane Justino) is going to be inevitable. I think that fight will happen at some point. We're just waiting for Cyborg to get off her suspenion but that conversation will happen once she's back ready to fight because her and Ronda at 135-pounds? That might be the highest rated show on Showtime for the year or for the past fights we've done. Women's fights always rate well on Showtime and Ronda's always delivered. That armbar is unbelievable. She's proved with Miesha, she's proven with other girls, that she can fight a kickboxer, she can fight a wrestler. Fighting Cyborg? That's a whole other level. It's just a fight I would really like to sit down and watch and just be a fan but I think that Sean is going to try to put that fight together at some point."
Rousey has been the talk of the town for months now, having gained fame via her loose lips. She used them to catapult herself into a title shot against Miesha Tate with the promise that she was more than capable of backing up her big talk.
Turns out, she was right. Click here to see a pic of the grisly evidence.
Kaufman is no pushover, though, having made a strong statement in her last fight, her third win in a row. In fact, throughout her career, she has just one loss on her record.
But it came via armbar.
That's a recipe for disaster against Rousey, a former Olympian, who is not only undefeated but also has eight straight armbar submission finishes, dating back to her three amateur fights in 2010-11.
Anyone think Kaufman has a chance?
While no one in Strikeforce would ever admit to as much, there's surely a rooting interest here. After all, as Coker stated, Rousey vs. Cyborg will likely do record numbers on Showtime, perhaps even better than Gina Carano's last sojourn into the cage.