Leslie Smith vs. Sarah Kaufman could be match of the year candidate

By Al Stover
Esther Lin- Invicta

The card for Invicta Fighting Championships’ fifth event continues to stack up.

Invicta FC announced on Twitter that former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman would take on rising star Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith at Invita FC 5 in April.

Smith had said she was supposed to face Kaufman back at Invicta FC 4 until the former Strikeforce champion had pulled out of the fight due to injury. Although I would have preferred to see Kaufman take on Kaitlin Young, Smith has more than earned her shot at a top bantamweight like Kaufman.

Smith has gone 2-0-1 in her last three fights, including two-match war with Young. While Smith won the second fight, the first match between her and the Minnesota striker earned “Fight of the Night” honors at Invicta’s first event and was a top candidate for 2012 Fight of the Year.

While a win over Kaufman would propel Smith into a top contender spot, the former Strikeforce champion will have her own motivation going into the fight against Smith.

Putting aside the gym rivalry between Cesar Gracie, where Smith trains, and Greg Jackson’s camp, where Kaufman trains from time-to-time, Kaufman is looking to rebound over her 54-second loss in a Strikeforce title match against UFC champion Ronda Rousey back in August 2012. Prior to her fight with Rousey, Kaufman pulled off an impressive majority decision victory over Alexis Davis.

Although Kaufman may have more experience than Smith, the Peacemaker has a tough chin that could withstand Kaufman’s powerful shots. Smith also has an advantage when it comes to the ground game, which could be the deciding factor in the fight.

Still, both fighters know how to put on great performances and this match could be an early candidate for 2013.


Who do you think will win between Smith vs. Kaufman? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA.

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