On January 13, Sarah Kaufman will headline Invicta FC 27 in a bantamweight battle against Pannie Kianzad. Before her MMA return, Sarah Kaufman spoke to MMA Junkie at UFC 219. Check out what the former Strikeforce champion had to say below!
On her Invicta return and UFC status: “I absolutely, 100 percent belong in the UFC. I know I am one of the best, if not the best, 135er in the world— especially on my best day, so I know 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 feel great being at events, helping coach in the corner but also just being in the cage is where I belong.”
On why she’s not currently in the UFC: “You know, that I’m not sure. I think partially when I fought in the UFC in the past I didn’t have my best performances. I didn’t show up. And that’s the name of the game, to show up, put yourself out there, and have exciting fights. My first start of the career was, I don’t know, I think eight finishes in a row and I need to get back to that. That’s why January 13th— that’s what’s happening.”
On Jan. 13 opponent, Pannie Kianzad: “Pannie is ready to come in, she’s a striker. I clearly like to strike. This is an opportunity for me to shove in everyone’s face who Sarah Kaufman is. Happy Canadian, killer in the cage.”
On a potential UFC return: “At this stage in my career, of course the UFC has the top talent. They have so many females to challenge yourself with everyday that you have the opportunity to get in there. But, I’m ready at this stage in my career to fight for myself. To fight for…just why I can be the best. I don’t care who I’m fighting as long as I perform at my abilities and that is where the belt should be. I know that probably 18 months from now I’m going to definitely be back in the UFC and in title contention.”
Kaufman also discusses more Pannie Kianzad, Shannon Knapp and Invicta, testing the free agency waters as a female fighter, not getting paid from the Jessie Rose-Clark fight in Korea, and more. Check out her full media scrum below, video courtesy of MMA Junkie on YouTube.
Are you excited for the return of Sarah Kaufman?