Sarah Kaufman feels she is ready to elevate herself to the top of the women’s bantamweight food chain.
Kaufman recently competed for the vacant Invicta FC bantamweight title. She took on Katharina Lehner in the main event of Invicta FC 29. Kaufman earned a submission victory to capture the 135-pound gold.
Despite her past accolades as a former Strikeforce champion and her impressive 17-4, 1 NC record at the time, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) decided to allow Kaufman to become a free agent. Kaufman went 1-2, 1 NC under the UFC banner.
Since then, she’s gone on a three-fight winning streak. She’s defeated Jessica Rose-Clark, Pannie Kianzad, and Lehner in that span. Rose-Clark is currently on the UFC roster and she’s coming off a win over Paige VanZant.
Kaufman believes it’s clear that she is ready to return to the UFC to challenge Nunes for the women’s bantamweight title. She expressed confidence in her abilities during an interview with MMAFighting.com:
“I know that I can beat the best, I know that I can beat the current No. 1, Amanda Nunes. I’ve always felt very confident about that. The time will come and when the times comes, I’ll be ready. And if it’s tomorrow, then great. And if it’s longer than that, it’s longer than that. There’s only so much I can do.”
Nunes is set to defend her gold this Saturday (May 12). She will share the Octagon with Raquel Pennington. The title bout will headline UFC 224 inside the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It’ll be interesting to see what transpires if Nunes retains her gold. There’s always the “super fight” with Cris Cyborg looming. If that bout can’t materialize, then the next title challenger gets tricky. There’s Ketlen Vieira, who is undefeated but many feel a title shot at this point would be too soon. Julianna Pena welcomed a baby girl to the world earlier this year, so she has been inactive since her loss to Valentina Shevchenko over one year ago.
Do you think Sarah Kaufman is a viable challenger for Amanda Nunes?