Former Milwaukee resident, Rick “The Jet” Roufus will fight Maurice “Mo” Smith on the Strikeforce card tonight on HDNet Fights. The card is to be headlined by Bob “The Beast” Sapp. Roufus was originally slated to make his MMA debut in January against Mark Kerr on a WCO card. Roufus was not cleared by the California State Athletic Commission to fight Kerr due to his paperwork missing the deadline. Had Roufus made the deadline the fight would not have occurred anyway due to the CSAC forcing WCO to cancel the event due to not having the funding for fighter purses. Roufus will be the smaller man in this fight having only weighed in at 207lbs vs. 235lbs for Maurice Smith. For a recap of my previous article on Rick Roufus click read more.
Roufus is a 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 www.boxrec.com. 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 www.ikfkickboxing.com.
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.