Sarah Kaufman: ‘I Don’t Feel Like My Last Fight Was A Loss’
“When they read [the decision], I was honestly in disbelief. I was pretty upset. I felt like I’d won. The crowd thought I won. Almost everyone thought that I won,” UFC women’s bantamweight fighter, Sarah Kaufman, said following her loss to Jessica Eye at UFC 166.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Following UFC 166, Sarah Kaufman was left with what she describes as a ‘bitter taste.’ After a hard-fought three rounds against UFC newcomer, Jessica Eye, Kaufman awaited the judge’s decision with utmost confidence. Then the decision came, announcing Eye as the winner via split decision. Kaufman, in a recent interview with Bloody Elbow, said she couldn’t believe it.
“As soon as the cage door opened,” Kaufman recalled the moments after the fight, “Joe Silva came right over to me, shook my hand and congratulated me. It was the intention of ‘You looked great, congratulations on the win’ kind of thing. He didn’t say those words, but that was the impression that I got. I was very aware of the first person to get to me and congratulate me; it was Joe Silva, and it was before the cut man even got to me. I was very aware of the time frame of it.
“I felt really good, and I could see that she looked defeated. I was so confident in that third round. That sealed the deal for me. Then they started reading the cards. They read 29-28 for Jessica, then 29-28 for me, and then when they read that third one, I was honestly in disbelief. I was pretty upset. I felt like I’d won. The crowd thought I won. Almost everyone thought that I won.”
Kaufman agreed that it was a great fight, but she feels like the judging has tainted what could have been a great night for women’s MMA.
“It mars the fight for both Jessica and myself. Honestly, Jessica came out and fought hard. It was a great fight. To have it marred by something like that… you want to win knowing the decision was just. I feel bad for her in that sense, in that she has the win, yet the majority of people don’t think she won. It’s kind of a misrepresentation for myself and for her.”
Kaufman would later get to see the judges score cards, and after seeing the results she thinks there is something wrong with how fights are judged.
“I found out that one of the judges scored her the third round. You know, I feel like something needs to be done. I feel like I won the second and the third, for sure. For the judge to give me the second round and not the third… something is wrong with the judging in that sense… If there was a way to turn it into a no contest and then have us fight again, just to be clear, I would be okay with that, even though I think that I won the fight. The thing is, you can’t be too sour grapes about it. It’s a fight, and you don’t want to be pouting and stamping your feet, but you do want what’s right and what’s just.”
When asked about reclaiming losses, Kaufman said that she doesn’t feel like this fight was a loss for her.
“I don’t feel like I lost on Saturday, so I’m not feeling like I have to come back from some devastating loss. I don’t consider it a loss in terms of how I fought. I consider it more like a political mishap. I do want it back, because it deserves to be a win. Monetarily, it affects me a lot. I’m only getting half of what I could have potentially made, and that’s a substantial amount, especially having two fight camps, back to back. That’s a big hit. Also, I shouldn’t be 16-3, I should be 17-2. It doesn’t feel like a loss, but it leaves a bitter taste.”
The one loss Kaufman would like to avenge is her loss to current UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey.
“The Ronda fight irks me to this day. It’s the first time that I went in and didn’t perform whatsoever. That’s honestly the loss that I want to erase the most. It’s not at all a good representation of who I am as a fighter. Ronda fought exactly how she wanted to, and you can’t take that way from her, but I didn’t fight at all, and that’s what bothers me the most. I didn’t use any of my potential.”
While discussing Rousey, Kaufman offered an assessment of the women’s champ and her next opponent, Miesha Tate, and their performances coaching on ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’
“I think that Miesha has come off very well for herself. This is not a slight to her, but I don’t think she always comes off as the most sophisticated or professional person at times… but here, I think that she’s played it smart… [Rousey] is not coming off very professionally. She’s coming off as a very young, almost teenaged girl… In a situation like that, even though there’s cameras all around, you have to be aware of what you’re giving off, and it is your image. I’m not saying to make it into something that you’re not, but there are certain things that I would never say outside of a close circle of friends… You’re a coach and a title holder in the UFC. You need to grow up a little bit and pull up your socks; represent yourself however you want, but also so that people watching can respect you as a human being.”