The news broke on Tuesday evening that Shayna Baszler was forced to withdraw from her scheduled The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale bout due to injury, leaving Sarah Kaufman (16-2, 1 NC) without an opponent.
Shortly after the news of Baszler’s injury circulated, Leslie Smith (6-4-1) offered to take the fight with Kaufman on short notice via Twitter.
@ufc I want to fight Kaufman! I am ready and willing!
— Leslie Smith (@LeslieSmith_GF) April 2, 2014
The two ladies fought to a controversial split decision last April in the all-women’s fight promotion Invicta Fighting Championships. The closely contested bout earned the Fight of the Night award.
Following the loss to Kaufman, Smith dropped down to the flyweight division and made a run at the Invicta FC flyweight title. After earning a unanimous decision win over Jennifer Maia, Smith was given a title shot, but came up short. She was defeated by champion Barb Honchak on Dec. 7 by unanimous decision, but earned Fight of the Night honors again.
After the win over Smith, Kaufman made her UFC debut against Jessica Eye at UFC 166 on Oct. 13, 2013. She originally lost by split decision, but the result was later changed to a No Contest after Eye failed the post-fight drug test. She returned a positive test for marijuana and was fined and placed on probation.
If the match-up comes to fruition, it will be Smith’s UFC debut and her return to the bantamweight division.