Sarah Kaufman and Leslie Smith have met before. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Leslie Smith will make her UFC debut against a familiar foe.
UFC officials announced Tuesday night that “The Peacemaker” has stepped up on short notice to face Sarah Kaufman at “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” finale. Smith and Kaufman first met one year ago under the Invicta Fighting Championships banner, with Kaufman taking a hard-fought split decision.
Kaufman was initially expected to face Shayna Baszler at the Fox Sports 1-broadcast event, but Baszler was forced to withdraw due to injury. Amanda Nunes was then tapped to replace “The Queen of Spades,” but the Brazilian was also forced out after dislocating her thumb.
The April 16 show takes place at Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City and is headlined by a middleweight showdown pitting Michael Bisping against Tim Kennedy.
Smith, 31, made the drop to 125 pounds for her most recent outing but came up short in her bid to capture the Invicta flyweight title from Barb Honchak. An 11-fight pro, Smith owns notable wins over Jennifer Maia, Raquel Pennington and Kaitlin Young, scoring half of her victories by way of knockout.
Kaufman’s last bout resulted in a split decision defeat to Jessica Eye at UFC 166, though the result was later changed to a no-decision after Eye tested positive for marijuana. A former Strikeforce bantamweight champion, Kaufman has earned 16 pro wins against just two defeats, with her only losses coming to top talents Ronda Rousey and Marloes Coenen.