Sarah Kaufman: Top 5 MMA Finishes

Sarah Elizabeth Kaufman, born September 20th, 1985 in British Colombia, Canada is the former Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion, inaugural Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion and the Hardcore Championship Fighting Women’s Bantamweight Champion.

The 36 year-old, has a 22-5 record, is ranked the 17th Current, Best Female Featherweight and 62nd Current, Best, Pound for Pound Female MMA Fighter.

Originally dancing her way from ballet to jazz to hip-hop in a dance company, she found herself magnetized towards MMA at 17 as a gym was opened (by Adam Zugec) in the same building where she honed her dancing skills

She initially trained in kickboxing whilst her MMA motivations germinated in the background. Meanwhile, she also became sufficiently versed in her ground game to attain a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Kaufman started her pro MMA career with a bang going on to secure a dazzling 12-0 win streak.

She made her successful MMA debut in 2006 against Lis Posener – winning the match via KO, at the North American Challenge 23 on June 3rd, 2006.

In 2009, Sarah was signed by Strikeforce. Her ferocious fight with Shayna Baszler was a major highlight, going right to the end of the bout to score a unanimous decision victory.

Sarah later faced the toughest challenge of her career against “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey – the first ever American female to win the bronze Olympic medal in judo at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Although Sarah lost the match via a vicious “Rowdy” armbar, it only added fuel to her career fire as she went on to leave no stone unturned to become the Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion.

Sarah Kaufman has recently signed with Pallas Athena Women’s Fighting Championship which was created for female, mixed martial artists from Western Canada and the rest of the world.

She was scheduled to face Brazilian, Cláudia Leite for the inaugural, PAW FC Women’s Bantamweight Championship at PAWFC 1 on Jan 15, 2022. However, the bout was cancelled as Leite was unable to obtain the required visa.

Regardless, Sarah is super-committed, has a tremendous work ethic, and is gunning for great things in 2022. So, without further ado, let’s rumble with Sarah Kaufman’s Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)

5. Vs. Jessy Miele – BTC 13: Power (Nov. 20, 2021)

There was a brawl of words before the actual fight took place. Kaufman accused Jessy of trying to use her name to “springboard” her professional MMA career. Now they were squared-up for the main event of the night at BTC 13.

To start, Miele pressed forward, keeping her guard high, occupying the centre of the cage.

At 20 seconds into round 1, Sarah found the right timing and spot on smashed a right jab and a sidekick on Miele. Her insurgent mindset began to tick over then accelerate into full force This meant more perils for “The Widowmaker” Jessy to deal with.

Sarah began making her opponent’s life miserable by socking an acute punch right to her jaw at 2:39 into round 1, seemingly breaking “The Widowmaker” into pieces.

Sarah, then blasted Miele with ferocious pounding on the back of her head and face, before taking her to the deathly gallows of an extremely tight, and grievous choke.

Unable to rein in her opponent-dismantling mindset, Sarah further ransacked her with deadly ground and pound.

The referee had, by this point, seen enough and intervened at 3:56 of round 1 as Miele wasn’t finding any way out of this nightmarish fight predicament.

Sarah won the match via ground and pound TKO.

She got vocal after the match stressing, “Put me in with the best fighters from all around the world, I should be the number one in the world, and I know I can be!”

4. Vs. Shayna Baszler – Strikeforce Challengers 2 (June 19, 2009)

With a streak of 9 straight victories, Kaufman was over the moon! This was her second match at Strikeforce against “The Queen of Spades” Shayna Baszler.

This was a fight to the very end with both fighters pouring all their energies into being the last woman standing.

To start, each eyeing out each other’s movements closely, the fighters took their time to adjust and manipulate their game plan.

At 36 seconds into round 1, Kaufman went blazing in with a combination of bloodthirsty left-right punches. Then, Baszler instantly clinched to wing Kaufman into a takedown. Kaufman made superb use of her legs and body, leveraging her way out from Baszler’s clutches.

Kaufman then rolled over Baszler and punished her with artful jabs, and hammer fists to her nose at 2:36 into round 1.

In round 2, the rebellion continued. Kaufman smoked a meaty jab right to Baszler’s face as the duo grappled and clinched up against the fence at 1:19.

Kaufman gets psyched and deals a flurry of savage blows on Baszler scoring multiple bullseyes as her quarry almost seems to just ‘wrap around’ Kaufman’s finger.

A fiery Kaufman then unleashes on Baszler – like a savage Roman Gladiator attacking a punching bag – with extremely quick hand speed hooks, like bullets blazing out of a machine gun. Baszler is left stunned as the amped up version of Kaufman simply overwhelmed her.

Sarah won the fight via round 3 unanimous decision. In her post-fight interview Sarah respectfully said, “The longer the fight goes on, the easier it is to get into the rhythm, and it could not be a good fight without a good opponent.”

3. Vs. Morgan Frier – PFL 1 (May 9, 2019)

This Women’s Lightweight Tournament hit the road with Sarah Kaufman taking on American Jiu Jitsu specialist, Morgan Frier.

Legendary cage announcer, Lilian Garcia, introduced the fighters as they geared up in their respective corners.

From the off, the cage was fired up with carnage from both sides. In a word, it was relentless, as the fighters rolled out hard-hitting gimmicks, aiming to mow down come what may with a cinematic beatdown, whining included!

At 18 seconds into round 1, just when Kaufman began her assault with a combination of right and left punches, Frier took Kaufman into a clinch.

Pivoting along her backside, she planted her right leg deep into the ground, Kaufman simply doesn’t allow Frier to force her into a takedown. Kaufman instead seizes the opportunity – quick on her feet – to take Frier to the ground. Sarah wraps her legs and blasts Morgan with hammer fists and lightning quick punches to her face at 1:26 into round 1.

Morgan sighs with a gush of pain as her left shoulder becomes subjugated under an immovable Arm Triangle Choke at 2:19 into round 1.

The referee, Bryan Miner, hurriedly intervened at 2:22 as Frier taps out in pain. Sarah Kaufman had won her fight via round 1 ATC submission.

2. Vs. Miesha Tate – Strikeforce Challengers 1 (May 15, 2009)

Kaufman made her debut at “Strikeforce” as a late replacement for “Cupcake” Miesha Tate.

The bout started with a Kaufman right hand, then a second, then a third! And they just kept coming at an astonishing pace on Tate as Kaufman revved-up looking for a quick finish at 0:32 into round 1.

Sarah, her eyes glued on Tate, further manhandled her with furious right-hand jabs sending shivers down her spine at 1:34.

In round 2’s early goings, Tate, courtesy of her resilience, didn’t show any sign of backing down and took Kaufman into a takedown within 30 seconds.

Brute hammer fists and short arm jabs by Tate saw Kaufman’s top become rather bloodied. Overall, Miesha had turned the tables on her rival with a massive comeback in the second round.

As the final round got underway, Kaufman appeared poised to punish her opponent and end proceedings. Sarah bulldozed Tate with unrelenting jabs, giving no scope or chance to be caught in a takedown.

Tate’s attempts at a takedown were crushed by Kaufman who brutalized her with a body attack whilst also clamping down with hammer fists on her nose in the last 30 seconds of round 3.

As a result, Kaufman won the match via round 3 unanimous decision. In her post-match interview, Kaufman thanked her sponsors and praised Tate for the resilience she demonstrated in the match.

1. Vs. Roxanne Modafferi – Strikeforce Challengers (July 23, 2010)

Sarah Kaufman was the heavy betting favourite to win this match against “The Happy Warrior” Roxanne Modafferi.

In round 1, Modafferi came out explosively as though out of a cannon to shock Kaufman with a big knee right to her face. It’s sheer chaos in the early going as the fighters really go at it!

Sarah quickly takes Roxanne into the clinch at the fence, using her body weight to oppress her opponent from all sides, and exhaust her from top to toe, the intensity building with sudden strikes from both sides.

Round 1, for the most part, was filled with hardcore grappling between the two superstars. Kaufman is provoked and simply can’t hide the anger smouldering in her eyes.

Danger strikes at 0:33 into round 2: Kaufman gets an adrenaline rush as she corners Modafferi with vicious punching, savage hooks and jabs as “The Happy Warrior” is ghettoed and almost crying with anguish to break out of her opponent’s shackles.

Kaufman exacts a powerful knee to Roxanne’s face and starts to unload chilling, and earth-shattering jabs on Modafferi – every blow as if designed to break her morale.

At 2:10 into round 2, Modafferi jumps over Kaufman, tightly clenching her head. Kaufman then pulls her up as though lifting a weight as the battle continues with a heart-pounding assault of body strikes and punches on Modafferi.

Now, stupendous punches rain down with Sarah pounding a dozen straight jabs as Modafferi collapses to the canvas.

In round 3, Kaufman finishes the match with a mighty body slam to the canvas. She pulls Modafferi up from the takedown position, grabs her torso and throws her head and body to the canvas with all her might.

Referee Anthony Hamlett, with fear written all over his face, quickly intervenes at 4:42 of round 3.

With this win, Kaufman held her head high for winning the match via a KO slam – very rare to see in MMA. Kudos to Kaufman!

This match was ranked the 70th Greatest Fight of All Time, and 37th Best MMA Knockout of the Year, 2010.

So there we have it folks, 5 of Sarah Kaufman’s best MMA finishes!

With her exceptional record of 22 victories with 11 TKO/KO’s and 2 submissions, where would you rank Sarah among the women’s combat elite? Which is your favourite Sarah Kaufman fight from the list above? And…which fighter should we KFK next? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

LADIES OF COMBAT, WHOSE FIGHTING STYLE DOES YOURS MOST RESEMBLE? PIN IT DOWN in the KINGDOM of FU with our Top 5 MMA series, celebrating the achievements of these distinguished women fighters: Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Peña; Ayaka Hamasaki; and Julia “The Jewel” Budd: Top 5 MMA Finishes, and our AEW Wrestling interview with top-ranking Brazilian judoka, Tay Conti!

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Atif Khan

Atif Khan is an MA graduate in International Journalism from Cardiff University. He is keenly Interested in learning about all types of martial arts and their essence in cultivating strong physical and mental strength. He's always been fascinated by Chinese kung fu pioneers along with their mystical animal styles, forms and poses, and their hard work philosophy leading to a balanced way of life.

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