Article

My Favorite Fight: Kaufman on Penn/Sanchez

On Saturday night at UFC 166, former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman will finally step into the Octagon against Jessica Eye. As the Victoria, British Columbia bantamweight prepares for battle, she looks back at one of her favorite fights of all time: BJ Penn's lightweight title defense at UFC 107.
I am a huge BJ Penn fan and I love watching him fight. I thought his fight with Sean Sherk was beautiful, but I think the fight with Sanchez really sticks out most in my mind. He just looked phenomenal and it was such a great fight to sit down and watch.

Click here to watch Penn vs. Sanchez free through 10/22


I was at my coach’s house with the rest of my team. We would always get together, watch all the fights and analyze them piece by piece. A lot of us on the team are huge BJ Penn fans and Diego Sanchez was one of the members of Greg Jackson’s team. That fight got better and better as the rounds went on. How Penn finished Diego was just so exciting.

Love at First Fight
Though Penn vs. Sanchez is one of my favorite fights of all time, the first moment that got me hooked on MMA featured Bas Rutten. I didn’t really know too much about MMA and hadn't thought about fighting yet. It was 2004 or 2005 and I had really gotten into training.

Bas Rutten had gotten his nose broken in one of the rounds and his nose was on the other side of his face. There was blood everywhere. The referee asked him if he wanted to stop the fight but he continued. That moment to me made me understand the sport of mixed martial arts. Even though he was mangled, he was still in the moment and continued the fight. It made me say  to myself 'This sport is awesome!'

I loved training and ended up fighting after that. That moment really sticks out in my mind as what a fighter truly is: just going in and doing your job and loving what you’re doing.

Taking it In

After that, being a new fan, I tried to watch the events as much as I could. At the time they didn't have cards every few weeks like they do now, they were every couple of months.T here was always anticipation and buildup about the fights coming up and the accessibility was so limited.

I would go anywhere I could to find the fights just so I could keep up with the sport. If my coach wasn’t watching the fights or the team wasn’t watching them I would go down to a strip club nearby to watch by myself. The screens would come down and I would try to sit as far away from the stage as I could so I could watch the fights in peace.

I probably looked like a creep. I needed to see what was happening and I needed to watch the evolution of the fighters. If they lost or if they were coming back or if they started out as a boxer and were changing up their style--it was amazing to view the progression that people make and it was encouraging to know that you can be known for one thing and develop such a great skill set in other areas.

Watch Past Fights

Saturday, April 8
10PM/7PM
ETPT
Buffalo, New York

Media

Recent
Anthony Johnson may be the hardest hitter in the UFC. Daniel Cormier will feel his power when the two meet with the light heavyweight title on the line at UFC 210 on April 8.
27-Mar-2017
UFC Minute host Lisa Foiles previews some free fights available on UFC.com now to help prepare you for UFC 210.
27-Mar-2017
Watch Gegard Mousasi defeat Thiago Santos when the two squared off at UFC 200. Don't miss Mousasi take on Chris Weidman at UFC 210 in Buffalo, NY on April 8.
27-Mar-2017
Watch Chris Weidman defend his middleweight belt when he defeated Vitor Belfort at UFC 187. Don't miss Weidman take on Gegard Mousasi at UFC 210 in Buffalo, NY.
24-Mar-2017