Kaufman Explains How Smelling Blood Cost Her

By Sherdog.com Staff Oct 11, 2010
Marloes Coenen (red trunks) vs. Sarah Kaufman: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com


Shortly after surrendering her Strikeforce 135-pound title Saturday, Sarah Kaufman could be found hitting focus mitts.

It was a brief loss of focus moments before that had given Kaufman the first defeat of her career. From guard Marloes Coenen caught Kaufman in an armbar submission 1:59 into the third round.

“It’s just frustrating that you make a stupid mistake and it’s [regarding] something you do all the time,” Kaufman said on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown After the Bell” show. “You work on your armbars, you work on your armbar escapes -- something so basic … and then the fact that I wasn’t tired. My cardio was amazing.”

Kaufman felt like hitting something. She turned to the focus mitts and then to reexamining how she’d been subbed as she opened up with a series of hammerfists.

“As far as I can remember, it was going pretty well, especially the third round,” Kaufman said. “I started getting really excited because I heard the ref saying, ‘OK, Marloes, keep moving.’ That kind of thing. I was like, ‘Oh, maybe [the ref] is going to jump in pretty soon.’ She created a little bit of space, and then I made a stupid mistake and left my arm sticking out there and then did the opposite escape of everything I’ve ever learned. It was just a matter, I think, of adrenaline and of excitement and definitely not a mistake I’m going to make again.”

Kaufman didn’t mount much offense in the first two periods, but she did take away Coenen’s reach by clinching with her. Then in the third she scored points in Coenen’s guard before getting caught. The plan had also called for Kaufman to make her cardio a factor.

“I should have thrown a little bit more combinations … but as I say, the fight goes how it goes,” she said. “I really think that going into the third, and then if there were a fourth and fifth, that it would have definitely gone towards my favor and I would have been able to push that pace because my cardio was amazing.”

The bout didn’t get that far thanks to Coenen’s slick bottom game. Kaufman was aware of the danger in Coenen’s guard, but when she started landing on the Dutch fighter, she focused on finishing.

“You know that she’s always dangerous, but I felt really good,” Kaufman said. “I felt confident. I work a lot of ground all the time. I wasn’t really too worried, but I wanted to be cautious and then once I got excited, that caution flew out the window and I made a mistake.”

Referee Dan Stell looked late in intervening. Kaufman tapped, and Coenen held the hold until Stell stepped in. The fighters had words about it afterward.

“I can’t recall exactly what happened in terms of when the ref stepped in,” Kaufman said, “but I know that I had tapped quite a few times and then I said ‘tap.’ I think the ref was on the opposite side of me, and so when he stepped in, she was still holding onto it and definitely when he was in there still. But I don’t think it was intentional. I don’t think that she was meaning to purposely hold it for longer.”

Check out the full interview (beginning at 0:03:50) with Sarah Kaufman.
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