Sarah Kaufman Faces Leslie Smith At Invicta FC 5 On April 5Former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion Sarah Kaufman will make her long-awaited Invicta FC debut against fellow striker Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith at Invicta Fighting Championships 5 on April 5th in Kansas City, Missouri. The 135-pound bout was added to the card today.

Kaufman was scheduled to face Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 3, but withdrew from the card due to an injury. She looks to rebound from a loss to “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Smith is undefeated inside the Invicta FC cage and filled in for Kaufman at Invicta FC 3, where she stopped Young in a rematch.

Kaufman (15-2-0) became the first Strikeforce women’s champion at 135 pounds in February 2010 and defended her title with a highlight-reel powerbomb slam against Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi five months later. She suffered her first defeat and lost her belt to Marloes “Rumina” Coenen in October 2010, but rebounded with three straight victories including a Majority Decision win over fellow Canadian Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis in a March rematch. Her bid to regain the Strikeforce title from then-champion Rousey ended in a 54-second submission defeat and Kaufman now looks to get back to her winning ways when she competes inside the Invicta FC cage for the first time.

Smith (5-2-1) has quickly become one of Invicta FC’s most promising bantamweight competitors. She debuted for the promotion on its inaugural card in April and fought to a Split Draw with Young in a bout in which some observers felt that Smith had won. An injury kept Smith out of action at Invicta FC 2, but she returned to the cage in October and finished Young with strikes in round two of their rematch. This past month, Smith squared off with former training partner Raquel “Rocky” Pennington and earned a well-deserved Unanimous Decision victory. She expressed an interest in facing Kaufman following the bout and has now received an opportunity to do just that in April.

Invicta Fighting Championships 5 takes place on April 5th and is targeted for the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. The event is headlined by an Invicta FC Atomweight Championship bout between champion Jessica Penne and Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson. The inaugural Invicta FC Flyweight Championship is up for grabs when Barb “Little Warrior” Honchak battles Vanessa Porto.



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, Strikeforce)

  1. Sarah wins this match.
    I like to see her develop a left hook.

  2. Agreed. I love Leslie Smith, but Sarah is too much for her.