Leslie Smith vs Sarah Kaufman 2 Set For TUF Nations FinaleA dislocated thumb has forced Amanda “Lioness” Nunes out of her short-notice fight with Sarah Kaufman at The Ultimate Fighter: “Nations” Finale on April 16th in Québec City, Québec, Canada. Kaufman will now square off against Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith in a rematch from one year ago.

UFC officials announced the change this evening. Smith and Kaufman first met at Invicta FC 5 this past April when Kaufman prevailed via a razor-thin and contentious Split Decision. She was set to face Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler in eight days, but now battles Smith for a second time.

Smith (6-4-1) was thought to be one win away from earning a UFC contract when she stepped into the Invicta FC cage opposite Kaufman (16-2-0, 1 ND) on April 5, 2013. She appeared to narrowly win the first round against Kaufman and dropped the former Strikeforce champion with a head kick in the middle stanza, but Kaufman recovered and put forth a strong effort to win round three. The bout went to the scorecards and two judges scored the fight 29-28 for Kaufman, who took a controversial Split Decision win and dashed Smith’s hopes of securing a UFC deal.

Following the close defeat, Smith dropped down to 125 pounds and won her flyweight debut against Jennifer Maia at Invicta FC 6. The victory earned her a shot at the Invicta FC Flyweight Championship, but she dropped a competitive decision to Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak in December. She now steps in on short notice as Kaufman’s third planned opponent for the TUF Nations Finale card. Kaufman returns to the Octagon for the first time since she lost a Split Decision to Jessica “Evil” Eye at UFC 166 that was later overturned to a No Decision.

The Ultimate Fighter: “Nations” Finale takes place on April 16th at Colisée Pepsi in Québec City, Québec, Canada.



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, AllElbows.com / InvictaFC.com)

  1. I’m concerned that Leslie may not be ready for such a high-profile rematch against Sarah on only one week’s notice. Since there is no Invicta FC card on the horizon, I don’t know how Leslie could be in fighting shape. Truly a shame that this incredible rematch couldn’t have taken place on even terms.

  2. Leslie says she has been training. Remember, Invicta 8 was suppose to be in March, then April, then May, now who knows? She doesn’t have to make a big cut. She’ll be fine.

  3. Yes sas, very good points. You’re right – Leslie can eat before this fight! Who knows, with only a week’s notice, maybe she’ll come in relaxed with nothing to lose. It will be her first big time show with the UFC, which always brings some jitters it seems. But Leslie is getting better every fight, maybe she’ll be able to outpoint Sarah this time. Regardless, the UFC fans are in store for a treat in 6 days!