TUF Nations Finale: Sarah Kaufman Looks To Raise Stock In Women's Bantamweight Title Picture

By Rick LaFitte
Sarah Kaufman battles Jessica Eye at UFC 166
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Sarah Kaufman hopes to climb the UFC women’s bantamweight rankings with a victory on home soil against Leslie Smith at the TUF Nations Finale in Quebec City. The talented Canadian fighter will once again search for her initial Octagon victory when she battles Leslie Smith.

Kaufman made her first appearance for the organization at UFC 166 in Houston when she engaged in an action-packed three round battle against Jessica Eye. In the end, it was Eye earning a split decision victory. The bout was eventually ruled a no-contest after Eye failed her post-fight drug test.

The former Strikeforce champion has been in with far better competition during her 19-fight career, having registered victories against Shayna Baszler, Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche. She has also fought against current UFC titleholder Ronda Rousey. Kaufman is comfortable engaging in a stand-up affair, and the no. 5 ranked fighter has 10 knockouts to her credit in 16 career victories.

While not looking past Smith, Kaufman is hoping that a victory can earn her a spot at UFC 174 in Vancouver in June.

Smith won’t be intimidated as she gave Kaufman all she could handle in a spirited battle in Invicta FC. “The Peacemaker” sustained a split-decision loss at Invicta 5 in the Fight of the Night performance. Smith truly believes that she deserved the nod that night and gets the chance for revenge in her UFC debut. She’s a hard-charging competitor who throws plenty of punches.

This fight came together after Kaufman saw two potential opponents drop out because of injuries. Smith got the call as a very late injury replacement and the rematch could potentially steal the show. If Kaufman wants to become a prominent player in the division, she can’t afford another setback, while Smith can make quite a splash if she can pull off the upset.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports

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