Interview With Sarah KaufmanCanada’s top female mixed martial artist, Sarah Kaufman, has come a long way in the past two years and has no plans to slow down. She will put her undefeated 10-0 record on the line in seven days when she faces Japanese standout Takayo Hashi at Strikeforce Challengers 6 on February 26th.

The renowned striker recently received her purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and will look to capture her second major women’s MMA title against Hashi. Always a welcome guest, Sarah once again takes time to speak exclusively with as she prepares for her biggest fight to date.


Sarah Kaufman is one of the top female fighters in mixed martial arts. She was the first and only Hardcore Championship Fighting Women’s Bantamweight Champion and is currently ranked as the number one female bantamweight fighter in the world. In her fourth interview with, Sarah discusses her preparations for her upcoming Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight (135-Pound) Championship bout on February 26th. Thank you for once again taking time out to speak with us, Sarah. To start off, can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to since we last saw you competing in Strikeforce in June?

Sarah Kaufman: I have mostly been training. I went down to New Mexico for a few days to hang out and train with Greg Jackson and Julie Kedzie; we went on an AMAZING hike in Chaco Canyon! I also got a puppy named Rhino, who is now 4 months old. Following your back-to-back wins over Miesha Tate and Shayna Baszler, there was talk of you competing for a title. You will finally have a chance to do so when you meet Takayo Hashi at Strikeforce Challengers 6 on February 26th. Has the lengthy layoff been frustrating at all or have you taken it in stride as Strikeforce continues to develop its women’s division?

Sarah: It’s always frustrating to not know when or how often I will get to fight; however, it is part of the fight game…and I think I am starting to get used to it (even though I would prefer not to). The Strikeforce 135-pound title bout with Hashi will be your third appearance on a Challengers card, but some have questioned why such an important title fight is not a part of a larger Showtime event. Does that bother you at all, given that the 145-pound title bout between Gina Carano and Cristiane Santos headlined a major Strikeforce card, or do you feel that a victory here will ensure your spot on the bigger cards in the future?

Sarah: I am just a fighter, and really I just do what I am told. It would definitely be nice to move off of the Challengers cards, and hopefully a good win on February 26th will do just that. Those who are just now becoming more familiar with your career may not know that you have already held a major women’s title – the Hardcore Championship Fighting Women’s Bantamweight Championship – and have been the number one-ranked female fighter in Canada since 2007. What would it mean for you to capture the Strikeforce title and solidify your place as the top female bantamweight in the sport?

Sarah: I try not to think about rankings too much, as they are subjective and I always hope to fight better than my last fight – whether I am ranked number one or 47. I feel very honoured that I am considered number one, and winning the Strikeforce title would definitely aid in making me believe that I should be up there.


Sarah With HCF Title Belt
Adam Zugec, Mauro Ranallo, Sarah Kaufman and Stephen Quadros. Hashi is primarily known for her ground skills and she holds notable wins over Hitomi Akano and Amanda Buckner. You are no stranger to facing talented submission fighters and you had to survive an early scare in your fight with Shayna Baszler. What threats do you feel that Hashi will pose and has takedown defence been a primary part of your training in recent weeks?

Sarah: I always try to work on both my takedowns and my takedown defence – especially since many fighters try to get me to the ground. Training for the Hashi fight has been no different. Based on Hashi’s camp and her fight record, it is likely that she will attempt to take the fight to the ground, and I am prepared for whatever she brings to the cage. Without giving your strategy away, what can fans expect to see from you in the fight with Hashi?

Sarah: I hope for an exciting fight with an equally exciting finish. I would like to try to finish the fight with strikes – on the feet or on the ground. You’re known as one of the top strikers in the division and Baszler has gone so far as to say that you hit harder than anyone else that she has faced. That is a major compliment given that she has been in the cage with Strikeforce Women’s Lightweight Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. What are your thoughts when other fighters speak highly of your skills and do you feel that your boxing continues to improve with each fight?

Sarah: I appreciate the compliments that I receive from other fighters, but I am truly my harshest critic. I train all year-round in hopes that, in every fight, each specific aspect of my game improves. I believe that my coach, Adam Zugec, and my team at ZUMA Martial Arts really allow me to grow with each fight camp – and my opponents allow me to grow with each fight. Strikeforce has adopted unconventional names for its women’s divisions and titles and you will be battling Hashi for the “Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Championship.” Do you pay much attention to the promotion’s choices in names or are you focused solely on your performance inside the cage?

Sarah: Haha…I really don’t mind what Strikeforce calls the fight. I am there to make weight at 135 pounds and then fight for 5 five-minute rounds.

  1. […] Exclusive Interview With Sarah Kaufman | I hope that she does well on the 26th and adds another title belt to her collection. […]

  2. Best of luck to Sarah in what I hope will be an exciting fight. I just wish more women’s MMA events were televised… or at least available on DVD or something. I hate seeing fighters’ records updated when I can’t even see the damned fights!

  3. Excellent interview. Sarah represents us well ! 🙂

  4. […] with both Kaufman and Hashi can be found here and […]