UFC women’s bantamweight contender Sarah Kaufman was in fine form in Quebec City as she picked up her first Octagon victory at The Ultimate Fighter: Nations finale. Kaufman showed off a precise striking game in outworking late injury replacement Leslie Smith over three action-packed rounds.
“The Peacemaker” had been seeking revenge against Kaufman after having lost a very close split-decision to the Canadian fighter at Invicta 5 in a thoroughly entertaining affair. The result of the rematch was never in question, as Kaufman showcased a diversified attack and dominated the contest with crisp right hands and combinations to earn the 30-27 decision on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
Smith was making her Octagon debut, and showed a tremendous chin in absorbing some solid shots throughout the 15 minute encounter. She had a few moments of her own, but simply wasn’t as accurate or as sharp as Kaufman in a fight that featured a high work rate from both. Kaufman was unrelenting in her pressure and pace.
For Kaufman, it was a solid effort after a disappointing result in her Octagon debut at UFC 166 against Jessica Eye. The former Strikeforce champion picked up her 17th career victory and has her sights on earning another opportunity against current UFC champion Ronda Rousey. Rousey submitted Kaufman in just 54 seconds when they met back in 2012.
Kaufman is hoping to face either the winner of this weekend’s Miesha Tate-Liz Carmouche clash at UFC on FOX 11 or top-contender Cat Zingano in her next fight. Both are attractive options who would produce plenty of action. As for Smith, she’s deserving of another opportunity after showing plenty of toughness and heart in her UFC debut.