Sarah Kaufman was forced to wait a bit longer than expected to make her UFC debut, but she now has a date and opponent. The former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion will face Jessica “Evil” Eye at UFC 166 in Houston on Oct. 19.
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The UFC recently announced the matchup, which takes place at the Toyota Center.
Kaufman (16-2) had been preparing for an August bout with Sara McMann, but those plans were scuttled after McMann – a 2004 Olympic wrestling silver medalist who is currently undefeated in MMA – withdrew due to undisclosed personal reasons. Kaufman is attempting to win her way back towards a rematch with champ Ronda Rousey, who defeated her by first-round armbar in Aug. 2012.
Eye is a highly regarded talent with a 10-1 record who defeated Bellator champ Zoila Frausto Gurgel in less than one minute during a recent non-title match. Eye was let go by the promotion when they disbanded their women’s division, but their loss is the UFC’s gain, adding a blue-chip prospect to a fast-expanding roster.
The 27-year-old Ohio native will come into the fight riding a seven-fight win streak. She has spent the majority of her career as a flyweight, and will be moving up a division in order to capitalize on the UFC opportunity.
The matchup brings to 13 the number of bouts currently scheduled for UFC 166, an event that is headlined by the trilogy fight between heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and challenger Junior dos Santos.