Sarah Kaufman (21-5 MMA) will not be returning to the PFL in 2021. The PFL, short for Professional Fighters League, hosts a seasonal MMA tournament where the winners for each weight class are crowned champion and given a million-dollar check. However, many fighters were visibly frustrated when the PFL decided to cancel their 2020 season. Line Movement’s James Lynch caught up with the women’s MMA pioneer Kaufman to talk about her new management agency and the decision to part ways with the PFL promotion for their upcoming seasoning.
On Kaufman’s decision to leave the PFL:
“I’m actually not with the PFL, and I asked to be released, you know, 155 is a very large division for me. I mean, right now I’m sitting under 150. You know I’ve been trying to stay a little bit lower so that if something comes up, I’m in that situation that we talked about earlier, where taking opportunities where they come, be ready, be prepared, be in shape. And, yeah, 155 I mean I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was trying to keep weight on when I was fighting in the PFL last season; it was a great opportunity. I really did enjoy fighting for them but I want to finish my career in a place where I can be the best I can be and that’s not 155, that’s at 135. I’m so confident in my skill sets. I know that I could be the world champion at my weight class, given the opportunity so that’s just where I want to go. My career is at 135.”
On Kaufman’s decision to sign with Iridium Sports Agency:
“It’s been a frustrating time as always in my fight career where all I want to do is just fight anyone in my weight division. I don’t care who it is. I don’t care where it is. I’m available, I’ll do it. And for years it’s been a pretty big struggle to get people to sign on to the fact that I want to fight and so different management companies I’ve worked with think “…we’ll get you big fights.” and it’s been a pretty frustrating one because promoters don’t realize how hard it is to find me a fight. I’m just a girl looking to punch another girl in the face for money. I don’t know why more people don’t jump on that opportunity. Lance (Spaude from Iridium) has just been in the corner and I was really confident that he could definitely give me some help and in terms of getting some opportunities for my fight career, so I signed with Iridium back in July. “
To put it lightly, Kaufman is in a unique predicament in her career. With the PFL option off of the table, and the UFC currently going through a 60 fighter roster cut, this begs the question of where Sarah Kaufman will end up next. Bellator currently does not have a women’s bantamweight division either. It will be interesting to see if Kaufman plays the travelers role and fights for a few different promotions until she finds a place to call home. Regardless, Kaufman will always have the respect of hardcore fans as she began her mixed martial arts campaign all the way back in 2006. Let’s see what Kaufman and her new management deem to be the best fit for her in 2021.