Former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman didn't get to compete as planned Wednesday night at UFC Fight Night 27, but the Canadian standout's long-awaited octagon debut will still take place before the end of 2013. Kaufman is now set to face rising star Jessica "Evil" Eye at UFC 166 on Oct. 19 in Houston.
Kaufman (16-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was originally scheduled to compete in a compelling fight at UFC Fight Night 27, but her bout was scrapped earlier this month when opponent Sara McMann withdrew from the event. UFC officials were unable to secure a replacement opponent in time, and Kaufman was dropped from the card. Although disappointed, Kaufman did not have to wait long to receive a new fight.
This past week, it was announced that Kaufman will battle fellow UFC newcomer Eye (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC 166, which is shaping up to be one of the promotion's most stacked cards of the year. Eye brings a stellar seven-fight winning streak into her UFC debut, and the former Bellator fan favorite is one of the fastest rising female stars in the sport today.
While she has spent much of her career competing as a flyweight, the cut to 125 pounds has become more and more difficult for Eye as she gets stronger and continues to put on more muscle mass. In her most recent fight in June, Eye defeated Carina "Barbie" Damm in a 130-pound catchweight bout, and she believes she will be even stronger at bantamweight.
The bout with Eye will be a pivotal one for Kaufman. Her bid to reclaim the Strikeforce women's bantamweight title ended in a 54-second defeat to current UFC champion "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey one year ago. In her April Invicta FC debut, Kaufman narrowly edged Leslie "The Peacemaker" Smith via a razor-thin split decision. A loss to Eye would be a significant setback for Kaufman, who has her sights set on a rematch with Rousey for the UFC title.
UFC 166 takes place at Houston's Toyota Center. Officials have not announced whether the Kaufman vs. Eye bout will air live on pay-per-view or as a part of the FOX Sports 1-televised preliminary card.
Sexton to face Andrade at UFC Fight Night 30 in Manchester
One week after Kaufman and Eye do battle in Texas, Manchester, England's Rosi "The Surgeon" Sexton (13-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) competes in front of hometown fans when she takes on Jessica "Bate Estaca" Andrade (9-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at "UFC Fight Night 30: Bisping vs. Munoz." The event takes place in Manchester. Sexton announced the fight on Tuesday.
Sexton and Andrade both look to pick up their first UFC victories after suffering setbacks in their respective promotional debuts earlier this summer.