Sarah Kaufman has had to wait longer than expected to make her UFC debut. After having her UFC Fight Night 27 bout cancelled, she has been rescheduled to face fellow promotional newcomer Jessica “Evil” Eye at UFC 166 in Houston.
UFC officials announced the bout on Friday.
Kaufman was originally supposed to face former Olympian Sara McMann on Aug. 28, but McMann had to withdraw due to undisclosed personal reasons.
A short time later, Bellator released Eye from her contract, doing away with any women on its roster. The UFC quickly swooped in and signed her, noting that they were trying to put a fight together between Eye and Kaufman.
Eye (10-1) is on a seven-fight winning streak and is widely considered one of the top 125-pound female fighters in the world, with victories over the likes of Carina Damm and Zoila Frausto Gurgel, but she will be competing in the UFC’s only women’s division, the 135-pound weight class.
Kaufman (15-2) is also considered one of the top women in MMA, and has been waiting a long time to make her promotional debut.
The Canadian fighter was the first Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion, a designation she later lost to Marloes Coenen. She eventually fought her way back into contention, only to have Ronda Rousey submit her in the first round.
The Rousey bout was Kaufman’s final fight under the Strikeforce banner. She remained active this year, with the permission of UFC officials, by winning a decision over Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 5 in April.
With the addition of Kaufman vs. Eye to the UFC 166 fight card, UFC officials shifted a bantamweight bout between George Roop and Francisco Rivera to the UFC Fight for the Troops 3 card slated for Nov. 6 at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
UFC 166 is scheduled for Oct. 19 at the Toyota Center in Houston. Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez faces Junior dos Santos for the third time in their trilogy of fights.