Prior to her fight with Leslie Smith at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale on Wednesday night, Sarah Kaufman said that should she win, she’d like to get on the UFC 174 fight card in Vancouver in June.
Kaufman hails from Victoria, British Columbia, which sits on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
She also targeted the likes of Miesha Tate, Liz Carmouche, and Cat Zingano. Kaufman in particular thought a fight with Zingano for the No. 1 contender’s spot for current champ Ronda Rousey’s belt would make sense.
Kaufman seemed to come out unscathed in her three-round unanimous decision victory over Smith, so a bout on the Vancouver card could come to fruition. It won’t be opposite Zingano though.
“Cat’s out for a while,” said UFC president Dana White at Wednesday’s post-fight press conference in Quebec City, Quebec.
“Everybody knows what happen to her knee, and then the other tragedy that happened in her life.”
Zingano suffered a torn ACL in her right knee that knocked her out of a coaching role opposite Rousey on season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, and into surgery and rehab. She suffered another setback when she damaged her left knee due to overcompensation.
Such a tragedy is a much more difficult injury to give a timetable. Who can really say how long it takes to recover enough from the loss of a loved one to return to somewhat normal activities?
White and Co. seem to be giving Zingano all the time and space she needs to try and get a handle on things.
“She’s got a lot of stuff to deal with mentally, physically, emotionally before she can start training to come back and fight again,” said White.
So, for now, Kaufman will have to refocus on a different opponent, as it doesn’t sound like Zingano will be ready to fight by the time Kaufman hopes. Tate and Carmouche, however, square off at Saturday's UFC on FOX 11, so if the winner of that bout is uninjured, a bout with Kaufman could be possible.