[Photo of Miesha Tate]
Undefeated power puncher Sarah Kaufman (8-0) will fill the void left by Kim â€œSugar Freeâ€ Couture and throw down with fellow rising star Miesha Tate (6-1) in a 135-pound contest during the SHOWTIMEÂ® televised portion of the inaugural Strikeforce Challengers mixed martial arts (MMA) event at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., on Friday, May 15.
Coutureâ€™s withdrawal last week created an ideal opportunity for the 23-year-old Kaufman, who is in fighting form after stopping Sara Schneider in the second round of their matchup on April 23. Kaufman has never been taken the distance in a professional fight.
â€œIâ€™m very excited about this fight because Iâ€™ve been hearing about Miesha Tate for quite a while,â€ said Kaufman, a former dancer who hails from British Columbia, Canada. â€œI know she has good wrestling and sheâ€™s been pretty active. Sheâ€™s probably going to want to take the fight to the ground and Iâ€™ll want to stay standing so it should be an interesting matchup.â€
Punching and kicking opponents is a far cry from Kaufmanâ€™s former passion. Sheâ€™s been dancing since the ripe age of two. At eight years old, the five-foot, five-inch Kaufman joined a dance company and soon after began performing in musicals, dancing to everything from ballet to jazz to hip-hop.