Friday, January 29, 2010
Sarah kaufman Interview
Sarah Kaufman is one of my favorite fighters. Not favorite female fighters, but fighters in general. I remember the first time I saw her fight and was a fan ever since. One thing I loved was striking or getting hit, standing or on the ground, she was always smiling or having fun. She is undefeated with some wins over some outstanding fighters, and the best part, she is young and still improving, and has a long career left. She has some great wins on Showtime, and that has made her even more well known. Sarah is for sure on my pound for pound list, and will be recognized as one of the best in the sport.
Q: First Sarah, thank you for doing this. I make no secret of you being my favorite female MMA fighter, so this is such an honor.
Q: Can you start out by just telling a little bit about yourself. Where you train, family, where you are from, things like that.
A: Well, I'm a 24-yr-old female bantamweight fighter out of ZUMA Martial Arts
in Victoria, BC. I have always grown up in Victoria, and I feel really
lucky to have found an amazing coach in Adam Zugec, and strength and
conditioning trainer Ty Goodale.
Q: Where you into athletics as a child to, play any sports in school?
A: I was always quite an active child: and extremely competitive. I always
tried to be the best in all the sports I dabbled in; however, I was mostly
focused on dance.
Q: What made you decide to get into MMA? It obviously isn't the most popular sport for women to get into.
A: I never made a clear decision to start MMA. For me, Adam opened ZUMA up
below my dance studio, and I tried out a Thai Boxing class. From there, I
couldn't get enough. What started out as just a fun workout, turned into a
passion that took over my whole life. I wanted to become as good as I
could, so, for me, that involved trying my hand in Kickboxing tournaments,
then grappling, then finally MMA.
Q: Did you immediately feel accepted when you started training, or was it a case of having to prove yourself?
A: I train at an amazing facility, and never had an out of place feeling. I
believe that anyone wanting to get into the sport for exercise, fun or
competition, needs to find the gym that best suits him/her - not a gym
where he/she feels the need to prove oneself.
Q: Now your first fight was 2006. What was it like leading up to the fight. Where you nervous?
A: My first fight was against Liz Posener, on June 3, 2006. I was really
excited and nervous all at once. I think the big thing for me was not
knowing what to expect at all. It was actually really funny because in that
first fight, I had to massage my coach's shoulders since he was more
nervous than I was.
Q: Do you remember anything about the fight, and how exciting was it
after the win?
A: I remember that fight really well. I remember almost the entire fight as it
happened. I thought that I was doing what my coach wanted me to do...then I
landed this huge right hand and down she went. It was the strangest
feeling, because I had practiced so many times for that moment, yet didn't
believe that it could happen until it did. As soon as that fight was over I
wanted to do another one...I really haven't looked back since.
Q: Was fighting pretty much what you expected that first time?
A: Honestly, I didn't know what to expect, but it was an awesome experience!
Q: After that you fought twice more for HCF, then they folded. You were off for 13 months. Was that for a reason or just unable to get a fight?
A: Fighting for HCF was great. They treated the ladies well, and I got to
fight and defend a Title. That meant a lot to me...it proved to myself that
I was a capable fighter, and it was when I really started believing that I
had the ability to really do well in the sport. I was really upset when
they went under. This also led to the long layoff due to unfortunate
circumstances. I wanted to fight, but every time I thought something was
coming up, the organization either went under of the date got pushed.
Q: Finally you came back for Palace Fighting Championships and stopped Sara Schneider. Any memories about that fight?
A: It was strange to get back in there after such a long layoff. I like
fighting a lot...and I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be back in
that competitive mind-frame: AWESOME
Q: Shortly after that you got your big break and stepped in as a late replacement and fought Miesha Tate on Showtime. That was a very exciting fight. It appeared your striking made the difference in that fight, which was also your first time going the distance. What do you remember about that fight and the excitement of fighting on TV?
A: There were a lot of things that really opened my eyes in that fight. The
number of interviews and medicals that California required blew my mind.
For 7 days straight I was either in doctors' offices, on flights or doing
interviews on the phone. It was crazy, yet great all at once. It truly
believe that something can be learned from every fight. I have never had a
perfect fight, and probably never will. My hope is that I am able to
improve 1 thing each time I show up, and I'll be happy...of course winning
helps that, too :)
Q: Your next fight was Shayna Baszler. Again, your striking being the major difference in getting the decision. Also that was the first five minute round women's fight for Strikeforce. What was that like to be the first five minute rounder, and do you prefer that?
A: Well, that was the first fight where Strikeforce allowed 5 min rounds;
however, I had fought nearly every other fight at 5 mins. MMA has evolved
around the longer round structure; it allows so many different factors to
come into play - cardio, wrestling, ground control, striking. I was
extremely pleased when Strikeforce adopted the 5 mins for women as well as
Q: You have been off for awhile. Does that get frustrating?
A: I think one of the hardest things as a fighter is the in-between fights.
Some fighters only like to fight a few times a year - I am not one of those
fighters. I truly enjoy training hard, even dieting...it makes me feel like
I have a focus. If I were to be told that I would have a 10 month
layoff...I would be upset but at least I could focus on improving and
changing so many aspects of my game. The really hard part, is training for
a fight that is uncertain, or a fight where the date is continually
changed. The constant rise and fall of peaking then having to taper is
really hard mentally - what can you do though?
Q: What do you consider your biggest strength?
A: I think my strength is in my team. I trust my coach, Adam Zugec,
implicitly. I also have an amazing Strength and Conditioning coach in Ty
Goodale, and also have Greg Jackson on my team. On top of them, I have
great training partners at ZUMA Martial Arts, who are even willing to come
in with me on Christmas (thanks Nick and Andrew), or any other time I need.
Without the team I wouldn't be as well rounded as I am.
Q: What is something you feel you are still wanting to improve?
A: I feel there are many things that I want to improve on. My main thing would
probably have to be trying to get those strong finishes. I always hope to
put on an exciting fight, but I also always want to get that finish.
Q: I think for awhile there was resentment by some that Gina Carano was the one with the big spotlight. But she did bring new fans to women's in MMA. Did you have any problems with the spotlight being on her?
A: If the spotlight wasn't on Gina, it would have been on someone else. I
don't necessarily envy all that Gina has gone through...spotlight doesn't
appear to be the easiest thing. Everything up to this point has helped make
women in MMA as strong as we are, so I just need to say: Thank you to every
woman, fighter, promoter, reporter and fan who has made this possible.
Q: As a woman how happy were you when she Fought Cyborg and seeing women main event a show?
A: I think having a female fight as the main event was a huge step for females
in the sport. The fact that it was on television where many average people
could access it was even better. I hope to be in a position to fight as a
main event at some point in my career.
Q: Is there anyone person you would most like a chance to fight?
A: There really are quite a few talented 135er's, but since Takayo Hashi is
number 2 under me, I should fight her next. If Tara Larosa ever decides to
make her way back up to 135, I think I should be her first fight, though :)
Q: Do you have any favorite fighters to watch, men or women?
A: I am an HUGE BJ Penn fan. I always have been and always will, win or lose. The same goes for Denis Kang.
Q: One reason I am such a fan of yours is no one seems to have as much fun as you when they fight. Are you really always that happy?
A: Fighting is what I love...and I don't think there is a place in the world
where I am happier, than when I am stepping in to that fight.
Q: Any hobbies outside of training and fighting?
A: Not really, LOL. Training is my job, but also my passion and hobby. I do
enjoy crosswords and jigsaw puzzles, though...really anything that challenges my brain.
Q: Describe a typical day in the life of Sarah Kaufman.
A: A typical day usually involves me doing a morning workout (either weights
and conditioning or just a light jog), heading to ZUMA to teach and manage
the gym, then training again either midday or in the evening. I'm usually
out of the house for at least 12-14 hours, but it's an awesome job!
Q: OK, if you were told you could only watch the movies of two actors, watch two TV shows, and listen two two musicians two one year, who do you pick.
A: Actors: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds
TV Shows: Dexter, House
Don't really know about musicians...I generally don't really know who sings
what, but maybe Sting and Bullet for my Valentine?
Q; Describe Sara Kaufman in five words.
A: Dedicated, Persistent. Stubborn, Nerd/ Academic, Routine.
Q: SO anything set in stone as far as fighting in 2010?
A: I'm still waiting to hear what's happening with me in the New Year. I will
be fighting by the end of February for sure...at least I think LOL
Q: Now you have your website up. Can you give that out and tell people what they can find there.
A: My website is www.sarahkaufman.ca. ON it you can find media links,
management contact information, but most importantly you can keep up to
date on my life. I try and blog daily (sometimes it is every 2nd or 3rd
day): sometimes about training, other times just about something
interesting that I came across. Please check it out if you are at all
Q: Obviously sponsorship is important. What is the benefit of sponsoring Sarah Kaufman, and how can someone get ahold of you if they are looking to sponsor you?
A: Well, I do my best to get myself out there; therefore, any coverage I get,
is also coverage for a sponsor. One HUGE benefit is that a sponsor is
supporting what I do in MMA and me as a fighter. They are allowing me to
grow as a fighter and person and get to new levels in all areas. Anyone
interested please contact my management at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Sarah I want to thank you so much for doing this. I have been a fan of the sport for 15 years and there are not alot of people I enjoy watching more than you. You always keep your fights entertaining and I truly feel there is no limit on how far you can go in the sport. Anything you want to add before you go?
A: I would just once again like to thank everyone who has helped me get this
far. Coaches, teammates, fans: you are all awesome and I wouldn't be here
without you. I would also like to encourage anyone who is procrastinating
the start of his/her training to get in contact with your local gym and get
going. Don't "get in shape" so you can train, get in shape WHILE you train!
Find a gym that you feel comfortable in, and get sweating!