After winning a unanimous decision over Shayna Baszler in June 2009, Sarah Kaufman will be looking for a finish when they rematch April 16 at UFC Fight Night 41.
Ahead of the bout, Kaufman joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss her opponent, her UFC 166 bout against Jessica Eye and more.
On her split decision loss to Eye being changed to a no decision due to Eye’s positive drug test: “There was a lot of talk about the fight, who won the fight, who should have won the fight, and then the whole debacle of she tested positive for a banned substance but got a couple months to know about it when no one else did. It was a really messy situation with people online just losing their minds one way or another, saying I whined to the commission and that it all comes out. It’s just a lot going on. At the end of the day, I felt good about the fight itself and I’m glad that it doesn’t say that I lost when I didn’t think that I deserved a loss.”
On whether Baszler has changed much since their first bout: “I think we’ve both changed and both stayed the same in some regards. I think that we’ve both been trying to improve, and styles typically stay the same. I think this fight is going to be one that’s going to go down not much different than the first one other than I want to get a finish.”
On whether she can finish Baszler: “One hundred percent. The finish is right there for me.”
On how the fight could end: “I typically like striking regardless of if it’s on the feet, on the ground. I know I have the power to knock Shayna out, but I also know I have the ability to finish her on the ground whether it’s strikes from ground-and-pound and she taps because of that [or] if the submission’s there, I’ll go for it. But I definitely prefer to beat the submission out of them.”
On the criticism Baszler has received since “The Ultimate Fighter”: “I really like Shayna. We’ve known each other for years now. We knew each other before we fought the first time. I think Shayna has some insecurities when it comes to speaking sometimes. She’s followed the Josh Barnett side of things. She kind of has the wrestling caricature. She says things like, ‘And the swords will come forth and bleeding will ensue, and in the end the tough will rise and the weak will …’ She says things that are kind of epically over the top, and I think that some people really don’t like that and some people really go for it and they hook onto it. … Either way, people like her or don’t like her, [but] they’re talking about her and they’re going to talk about the fight.”
On whether a woman could be a star in the UFC right now based on her fighting ability alone: “I would hope so. I do think that you need to have an ability to speak and an ability to entice fans regardless of what that method is. I don’t think that everyone has to be a cookie cutter mold, but the UFC definitely, they’re looking for someone to push. They’re looking for people to get behind, stories to get behind. … You can kind of be that silent killer if you really knock people out or submit people in five seconds and kind of play the Fedor [Emelianenko] approach of no emotion, but I don’t think that many people can do that.”
On how she sees herself marketing-wise: “I think that I’m in the middle. I would really like to get a push for my merits and for who I am. I like to stick to my morals and try to step outside the box when it’s warranted for just being real. If I don’t think something’s right, I’ll say that I don’t think it’s right, but I’m not one to make bulls--t up and say those kinds of things.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:03:45).