Former Strikeforce women’s champion Sarah Kaufman will find out what Invicta Fighting Championships is all about in April when he takes on Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 5.
After that, she’ll join the likes of Ronda Rousey, Liz Carmouche, Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano as members of the UFC’s female bantamweight division.
Kaufman (15-2) recently talked with FightLine.com about the all-female promotion. She was expected to debut with them last year, but a shoulder injury kept her on the sidelines.
“They do a great job, an amazing job of putting together high quality matchups,” Kaufman said. “They treat fighters really well, are doing a great job of promoting females from around the world in all different weight classes. I couldn’t say anything better about them.”
Kaufman was actually asked a few years ago if she had interest in starting up an all-female promotion prior to the decision by organizations like EliteXC, Strikeforce, Bellator and now the UFC to hold women fights.
“I didn’t think it could survive,” Kaufman said. “I was very skeptical of an all-female promotion. A few years ago, I didn’t think the sport was ready for it.
“Without companies like Strikeforce, EliteXC, Bellator and now the UFC pushing female fighting, I don’t think it would have grabbed on as much as it has.”
Kaufman mentioned fighters like herself, “Cris Cyborg, Gina Carano, Julie Kedzie, Miesha Tate, Marloes Coenen and now Ronda Rousey,” as bringing exposure to the sport in a different way.
“(The promotions and the fighters) have all helped transfer into what is now Invicta,” Kaufman said. “They are putting on amazing fights and so many people are excited to watch.”
When she makes the move to the UFC from Invicta later this year, Kaufman will have had experience in going from one promotion to the next, as she competed on the Strikeforce Challengers series before being moved up to the Strikeforce main promotion.
“Invicta to the UFC will be the same thing (as the move in Strikeforce),” Kaufman said. “It’s still getting in (the cage and competing), but the actual crowd (in Invicta) might not be as big, or the production as much, as the UFC will be. Plus, with the UFC, you have the pressure of the name-brand you have to live up to; it’s where you want to be.
“Invicta is a high-level organization, too, it will just be different behind the scenes. At the end of the day, it’s still getting in there and fighting.”