Kaufman Counting the Minutes

By Loretta Hunt Jun 16, 2009
Sarah Kaufman (9-0) is looking forward to her six extra minutes.

The 23-year-old Canadian striker faces Shayna Baszler (9-5) for Strikeforce this Friday at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash., knowing she won’t get jipped on time.

Strikeforce announced Tuesday that both the Washington and California athletic commissions had greenlit Kaufman’s and another upcoming women’s bout to be contested with five-minute rounds.

California had instituted three-minute round protocol in 2006 for all fighters with five fights or less on their ledger. However, the abbreviated round seemed to stick with the women despite their growing records, and the practice even spread to other states.

A five-round championship bout between undefeated Gina Carano and her foil Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos will also get the five-minute deluxe treatment on Aug. 15 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

In recent weeks, performances by Kaufman -- who decisioned Miesha Tate over nine minutes on another Strikeforce card June 19 –- and others have convinced fans that the women are well capable of thriving inside the standard intervals allotted their male counterparts.

Kaufman, who meets Baszler at 135 pounds, is glad promoters and regulators are following suit.

“For me, five minutes are a great thing,” Kaufman told Sherdog.com Tuesday. “Yes, I’m known as a striker and everyone says three minutes are better for strikers and five minutes are better for grapplers. But for me, the five minutes really allows me to push people. Now I’m actually getting a full fight.”
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