A 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.