The favourite for The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 now has a date set for her UFC debut, being thrown to the sharks in a three round fight with Sarah Kaufman. The two once met in the cage over four years ago, with Kaufman being awarded a unanimous decision. Now, Baszler has the chance to settle the score and put her disappointing performance in TUF behind her.
Sarah Kaufman lost her UFC debut in a close fight with Jessica Eye, though a failed drug test for Eye overturned the decision to a ‘No Contest’. With a 16-2 (1 NC) record as a professional, Kaufman has been a mainstay in the top 10 rankings in the women’s bantamweight division, and her only two official losses have been armbars by two of the greatest female fighters in the world – Marloes Coenen and, most recently, UFC champion Ronda Rousey.
With wins over the likes of Liz Carmouche, Alexis Davis, Miesha Tate and the aforementioned decision over Baszler, Kaufman has one of the most impressive resumés in the division. After calling for a rematch with Jessica Eye, who fights Alexis Davis at UFC 170, and vowing to fill in against Jessica Andrade, the UFC decided to go down a different route. Kaufman will look to defeat respected bantamweight Shayna Baszler for a second time and get her first victory inside the Octagon.
Shayna Baszler has been given a surprisingly tough UFC debut after dropping two of her last three and losing in the first round of the TUF 18 competition against eventual winner Julianna Peña. The ‘Queen of Hearts’ irritated fans with her cockiness leading to the fight with Peña and proverbially ate her words with the surprising submission loss. Baszler will look to show why she is one of the most respected veterans in the women’s division with a win over Sarah Kaufman, a tough feat for any female fighter.
Baszler vs. Kaufman II is scheduled for the TUF: Nations finale, headlined by a pivotal five-round middleweight tilt between Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy. The card is set for the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada on April 16.