The Mixed Martial Arts are inherently an art form. And one of the current artists in the MMA world uses some of her skills in another discipline to be more balanced and quicker on her feet. To look at Sarah Kaufman now, you wouldn’t think was an accomplished dancer before she decided to take up the ballet of violence in the cage. However, a strange twist of fate led her to tango and tangle her way into the sport.
“My coach, Adam Zugec, opened our gym, ZUMA, directly under my dance studio,” Kaufman remembers. “I happened to try out a class, as my friend’s mom signed her up and she wanted a partner, and I was immediately hooked.”
Kaufman used some of those balancing skills to stay undefeated when she won her fight with Miehsa Tate on last month’s Strikeforce Challengers card. She gained the opportunity to face Shayna Bazsler at the Strikeforce Challengers card on June19, in what could be the biggest women’s MMA fight to date. Baszler is currently ranked fourth in the Bantamweight division according to the GoWamma website, while Kaufman is currently ranked fifth. This is a
classic grappler verses striker battle, and the heavy handed Kaufman isn’t taking Bazsler lightly inside the cage.
“I think Shayna is a really great fighter. She has a great skill set, and has pulled off some stunning wins with some of her submissions.”
Outside the ring, however, Kaufman has a different take on Baszler.
“I also think she is one of the most hilarious people I have ever met, so I’m excited to get to fight her.”
In an interesting twist, Kaitlin Young, who was supposed to face Kaufman back in November, is helping train Baszler for her upcoming fight. Something that Kaufman respects.
“I think Kaitlin is an amazing fighter, athlete, and person,” Kaufman stated. “I think it’s great that both Kaitlin and Shayna have been able to use each other to improve. Training together will only help both of their games, so that’s awesome!”
Back in January, Kaufman got to spend some time with Young and they sparked up an interesting friendship. During the Miesha Tate fight, Kaufman had Young’s name on her shorts for a very interesting reason.
“Having Kaitlin’s name on my shorts was really just a joke,” Kaufman remarked. “I was looking for sponsors, and had posted on the Underground forum. Kaitlin was the first person to respond, and she said something like, ‘How much for my name on your shorts?’ I had the space when I was printing them, so I thought it would just be funny to actually go through with it. I did apologize to Kaitlin though, as her name was spelled incorrectly. It was a really last minute thing and we didn’t get to proof it.”
All joking aside, Young has said she wants to fight Kaufman and Kaufman said that she would love to fight Young in the future. As for now, Kaufman’s sights are on Baszler. With a win, Kaufman would be at the top of the Women’s MMA world and she admits this isn’t a cakewalk.
“By no means do I think this is an easy fight for myself, or for Shayna, so it will be interesting to see how the fight pans out. We’re both training
and hoping for the win, so make sure to watch!”