Sarah Kaufman Defeats Leslie Smith Again At TUF Nations FinaleFormer Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman overcame two late opponent changes and earned her first UFC victory tonight at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale in Québec City, Québec, Canada. Kaufman defeated Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith in a bantamweight rematch from Invicta FC 5.

Unlike in the first fight, which Kaufman won via a razor-thin and contentious Split Decision, she was in control of tonight’s rematch from start to finish. Kaufman landed crisp punches throughout the three-round battle and she mixed up her strikes effectively en route to a well-earned decision victory.


Kaufman (17-2-0, 1 ND) clinched and landed knees to the body early on and she knocked Smith (6-5-1) down with a leg kick soon after. She kept the pressure on after Smith stood up and the fighters traded punches after separating from a clinch. Smith scored with slashing elbows over the top, but Kaufman immediately answered back with knees. She landed a hard one-two and Smith backed up. Both women fired off punches and Kaufman landed more knees and another combination before the bell.

More big punches were exchanged in the second round and Kaufman snapped Smith’s head back with three-punch combos. Kaufman landed knees to the body and a stiff left cross. The fighters exchanged punches in close and Kaufman got the better of it by landing crisp strikes as Smith became more wild. Smith clinched and Kaufman countered with a hard knee to the body. She flurried with punches and mixed in more knees. Smith attempted a head kick and Kaufman blocked it. She landed a combination and Smith answered with elbows late in the round.

The final round began with a clinch and Smith punched her way free with a combination over the top. Both women landed leg kicks and Kaufman backed Smith up against the cage. She picked her shots with punches and ducked under many of Smith’s counters. A big right hand and a knee landed for Kaufman and she knocked Smith off-balance with an inside leg kick. As time ticked down, Kaufman secured a body-lock takedown and she transitioned to Smith’s back. Smith eventually scrambled back up to her feet and the fight ended with an exchange of punches.

After three action-packed rounds, the judges were united and all three scored the fight in Kaufman’s favour. The Canadian standout put forth one of her best performances to date in the fight and she has tasted defeat just once in her past seven fights. Smith, who took the fight on eight days’ notice, put on a game showing in defeat that earned rightful praise from UFC President Dana White.

Winner: Sarah Kaufman by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. She improves to 17-2-0, 1 ND.



(Photo Credit: UFC)