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Sarah Kaufman: Strikeforce Champion Without a Fighting Home

Editor's Note: According to Strikeforce Director of Communications Mike Afromowitz, Kaufman's contract was automatically extended after her fight in February.

Jake Shields is not the only Strikeforce titleholder without a contract with the promotion. 135-pound women's champion Sarah Kaufman is in the same boat.

It's been two-and-a-half months since Kaufman (11-0) defeated Takayo Hashi for the belt in the main event of Strikeforce Challengers 6 and according to Kaufman, she still has not been re-signed by the promotion.

"We've talked a few times here and there and I think they're just trying to figure out what their plans are in terms of the 135-pound division since it is a deep division," Kaufman told Tuesday. "They feel I just fought Miesha Tate, Shayna Baszler not that long ago as well, and I just fought the No. 2 girl (Hashi), they're just trying to figure out what they're going to do with the division, as they want to have a tournament. I personally don't want to wait till after the tournament is complete because that's at least another probably eight months before that's done."

Kaufman entered the Hashi fight with one fight left on her contract that Strikeforce acquired from EliteXC. Normally, the champion and challenger enter into a new agreement with the promotion to avoid a champion walking away from the promotion without defending the belt. Kaufman says she does not understand why that was not the case for her, especially after all this time.

"I'm not sure if they haven't realized, even though we kind of mentioned [before the Hashi fight], 'Hey, this is my last fight,' or they have so much going on that they kind of forgot about it. I don't really know," Kaufman said. "As I say, I don't want to walk away from Strikeforce by any means. I think they have done a good job of getting the females out there, it just needs to be a little more often for me. I'm just getting a crazy a little bit. I understand when you get higher up and to the top, you do have to wait for other people to make their way up to challenge you, but I don't think that needs to take a year. Hopefully they get on board and kind of realize, 'Hey, we made a mistake and you finished without a contract, and we need to get that sorted out quick.'"

Since her title win, Kaufman has returned to her regular routine of trying to improve her overall game, while waiting for her next fight. She's also stayed busy helping corner teammates and teaching seminars.

The perfect scenario for the 24-year-old Canadian would be a fight every couple of months. Last year, she fought in April after a 13-month layoff only to tackle three fights in three months. Kaufman wants to continue her career with Strikeforce, but says she's willing to explore other options to stay active.

"I'm put in a tough boat because they're sorting things out, but in the mean time I don't want to sit inactive," Kaufman said. "I don't want one fight a year. I've been approached by a few different organizations that are interested in picking me up or having me fight for them at least, I do have a loyalty and I believe in that towards Strikeforce, so I think my manager and coach Adam [Zugec] are just letting them know where we stand and that I need to stay active and I can't fight just once a year. If they want to have a new contract where they loan me out to other organizations where I get to fight more often, that would probably be the best for me."

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