Olympian Sara McMann to Face German Prospect Sheila Gaff at UFC 159

By Tim Leidecker Mar 1, 2013



German prospect Sheila Gaff has signed a four-fight contract with the UFC and is expected to debut in the Octagon opposite Sara McMann at UFC 159.

German website GroundandPound.de first reported the news Friday morning, and Sherdog.com confirmed the planned booking with sources close to the bout. Contracts have not been signed, but verbal agreements are in place for the 23-year-old “German Tank” to face McMann on the April 27 undercard, which takes place at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The signing comes on the heels of the promotion’s very first women’s title fight between 135-pound champion Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche last weekend at UFC 157. Gaff (Pictured), who is coming off three straight first-round knockouts, returns to the bantamweight division after competing at 125 pounds from 2011 to 2012.

Her opponent will be Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann. The Gaffney, S.C., resident last saw action in the Invicta FC and ProElite promotions, where she racked up a pair of unanimous decision victories over Josh Barnett pupil Shayna Baszler and Japanese veteran Hitomi Akano.

“This is a huge opportunity for me,” Gaff told Sherdog.com. “At this point in my career, it was either [I got] the chance to fight in the UFC, or I would have quit MMA altogether to try my hand at professional boxing. I’m super happy it has worked out like that, and fighting Sara will be a great challenge. Her wrestling background is second to none in the world of women’s MMA, but this is not a wrestling match; [it is] a fistfight. I will fight aggressively as I always do and try to bring the pressure from the opening bell. It’s going to be a great fight and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Follow Tim Leidecker on Twitter at @TimLeidecker or contact him at www.facebook.com/Rossonero1.

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