Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rick Roufus to make his MMA debut vs. Maurice Smith

Earlier this week reported that Rick “The Jet” Roufus has signed to fight Maurice Smith on the Strikeforce show on February 23, 2008. The card is to be headlined by Bob Sapp.

Roufus is a former Milwaukee, Wisconsin resident and former world champion kickboxer in the IKF or International Kickboxing Federation in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. In the 1990’s he gave up kickboxing for a short time to focus on traditional boxing and compiled a record of (13-5-1) according to Roufus’ boxing career was highlighted by winning the WBC’s Continental America’s Cruiserweight title. In September of 2003, he retired from kickboxing due to an ACL injury with a record of (61-7) with 41 knockouts according to

In early 2004, Roufus opened a gym in Tempe, Arizona and made headlines that year when it was reported that he had signed a contract to fight former heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson in K-1. The Mike Tyson fight never ended up happening.

Since then, the 41 year old, Roufus has come out of retirement and has fought in various organizations. This fight however will mark the first MMA fight of his career. Roufus does hold a kickboxing win over his opponent Maurice Smith.

Maurice “Mo” Smith is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and holds a (10-10) MMA record. Last May, Smith made his MMA return against Marco Ruas in the IFL, winning via TKO – Corner Stoppage. His last fight had been in November of 2000 when he lost to Renato Sobral at UFC 28 via decision. Despite his mediocre record, he has fought a list of who’s who in MMA, fighting in organizations such as the UFC, Pancrase, Rings, and the IFL. He won the UFC Heavyweight Championship by defeating Mark Coleman. Smith had one successful title defense against Dave “Tank” Abbott before losing to Randy Couture in 1997.

This article was originally posted on on 12-14-07.

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