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Lethal intent: ‘Rousey vs. Kaufman’ press conference quotes, photos and video

SAN DIEGO — The final pre-fight press conference for “Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman” took place Thursday in San Diego. Female headliners Ronda Rousey and Sarah Kaufman, along with co-headliners Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Derek Brunson, answered questions from the media and squared off for photo ops.

Still undefeated, Rousey (5-0) will defend her Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title against the former champ, Kaufman (15-1), who comes in riding a three-fight win streak. Rousey explained how she’s been able to remain focused despite all the publicity and distractions that come with being champion and female MMA’s leading lady of the moment.

“I always fight the same regardless of the situation. I’ve had fights that I arrived the day before having to cut weight, I’ve had fights where I had pit bull bites at my foot. I’ve had fights against my best friends and stuff like that. It doesn’t matter. I respect Sarah a lot as an opponent and I trained harder for this fight than any other fight before.”

Ronda’s mood on Thursday was one of all business. She looked angry. It might have been the weight cut. She might just be sick of all the media. She might just be getting mentally ready for battle, but the laughing, smiling, pleasant Ronda was nowhere to be found. In fact, she went total dark side.

“She might not know it, but she should be thanking her lucky stars MMA is properly regulated in California. Because, I respect her so much and I’m not taking any chances. If I get her in an armbar I’m going to try and rip it off and throw it at her corner. And if I get her in a choke I’m going to hold onto it until she’s actually dead. And if I get her in a knockout I’m not going to walk away. I’m going to try to actually pound her face into the ground, and she’s depending on the confidence of the California State Athletic Commission to walk out of that cage alive. And that has nothing to do with whether I like her or respect her; she seems like a nice chick. But every single time I go in to fight I pretend as if it is my little sister’s life depending on it and in that kind of situation nobody can ever beat me.”

Yes, you read that correctly. This sweet little lady said if she gets Sarah Kaufman in a choke hold she wants to hold it until Kaufman is actually dead. Of course this is fight talk. We’ve heard similar talk from other fighters — just not from a “lady”, so it seems a bit more shocking. But as Ronda previously said, she’s “not just some housewife waiting to happen.” This woman is a warrior and whatever it takes for her to psyche herself up and get in the right frame of mind to go to war is all part of it.

Ronda was questioned about her “serious” mood.

“I’ve done all my press before this. I feel like I did all the work I need to do. I’m here to fight. I’m not here to do a little dance for you guys. I don’t know what else you would actually expect from me.”

Ronda was then asked if she might like to win by something other than an armbar just to get future opponents thinking about something else from her.

“That’s one theory.”

Do you want to expand on that at all?

“Nope.’’

Kaufman commented on Ronda’s lethal intentions.

“She’s gonna try to kill me, which is kind of mean, but that’s alright. But at the end of the day someone is going to walk out with the belt and I want that person to be me. … That’s great, it’s a fight. And that’s what you want to do. You don’t want to come in and play patty cake. That’s not what we are here for. We are here to show up and do everything we possibly can to win. Hopefully no one dies in the process, but again, it’s a fight and anything can happen. So, it’s great. It gets people excited and people want to see two athletes showing up and fighting and not just trying to outscore the other person. They want to see someone decisively finish a fight.”

[All photos by Drew Dominguez for ProMMAnow.com]

[All photos by Drew Dominguez for ProMMAnow.com]

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