Kaufman: I absolutely 100% belong in the UFC again
Inaugural Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman spoke recently with the media, ahead of her fight vs. Pannie Kianzad in the main event of Invicta FC 27 on January 13 in Kansas City, Missouri. Kaufman was released by the UFC in 2105, following a split decision loss to Valentina Shevchenko, who is currently ranked #1 in the division. Kaufman’s career wins include the current #4 and #6 ranked UFC flyweights, former champion Miesha Tate, #13 Leslie Smith (twice), among many others.
Kaufman, 32, is undeniably at the UFC level. The Unified Women’s MMA Rankings has her at #4 in the division, and MMARising.com has her at #8 in the women’s pound-for-pound rankings. However, she only fought once since being released, vs. Jessica Rose-Clark at Battlefield FC, on March 18, 2017. Kaufman won the fight, but never got paid. And Clark is now in the UFC.
“I absolutely 100% belong in the UFC,” said Kaufman, accurately. “I know that I am one of the best, if not the best 135er in the world, especially on my best day. So I know that I belong in the UFC. I’m very happy to have the opportunity with Invicta. Main event, UFC Fight Pass, it’s an opportunity to again prove why I should be here with the organization that has the highest of the high in terms of talent.”
“I didn’t want to have a break, but I had a little injury and that took a while, then I tried to see if I could go to 125 pounds,” said Kaufman, as transcribed by Mick Hammond for MMA Weekly. “In the meantime, I was working on my wrestling, my stand-up, and my Jiu-Jitsu, and competed quite a lot in different Jiu-Jitsu and grappling competitions. So I was still competing and still staying active, which was great, and overall I felt so much better.”
“I paid to do a camp and you’re bringing people and paying expenses. At the end of the day, it’s a pro sport and we should get paid, but unfortunately, Battlefield in Korea paid some people, ran out of money, and stopped making contact and didn’t pay the remainder of people. It’s very frustrating and very unprofessional, but I don’t know what I can do to get that money back.”
Saturday night is an opportunity to turn her fortunes around.
“To get the win, I just need to go in and just actually fight,” she said. “My left hook these days is really solid, and I would love to get a big knockout with my left hook. I think Pannie is a good opponent for that. She’s a very game fighter. … I’m just really looking forward to getting a finish. I need to get back to that. Decisions are okay if you need them, but in this instance, this is a fight that I should be getting the finish.”
“What’s coming in 2018 is the exciting finishes, the fun fights, and really me pushing myself. I have not fought to my potential ever, and this is the time that it needs to happen and is going to happen.
“I would definitely love to win this fight and then if that happens see what goes on from there. Maybe I’m fighting for the Invicta belt or fighting for the UFC, but I haven’t really thought that far. I would I think at this point I deserve to be in the UFC, but they want to see something. I think what they want to see are those big finishes and that exciting style.”