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Sarah Kaufman: Miesha Tate is 'good at ducking fights'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Sarah Kaufman did just about all she could to try and get Miesha Tate to be her next opponent.

The UFC women's bantamweight contender slammed Tate on social media and put together an Instagram video of her crushing a cupcake with her fist. Tate's nickname is, of course, "Cupcake."

Kaufman, though, didn't get the fight she desired. Instead, she'll face Alexis Davis at UFC 186 on April 25 in Montreal. Davis is one of the best competitors in the division and a former No. 1 contender. But Kaufman has already beaten her twice. The fight with Tate is still one Kaufman is gunning for.

"I did anything and everything possible to make that fight happen," Kaufman told MMAFighting.com. "That's on Miesha's end of things. I don't think that she'll ever want to take that fight again. I'll keep pushing for it, because I think it's such an exciting fight in the division."

Kaufman, 29, does own a unanimous win over Tate in 2009 under the Strikeforce banner. That was six years ago, though, and a Kaufman-Tate fight would be relevant in the rankings. Tate has been booked to face Jessica Eye in a potential title eliminator at UFC on FOX 16 on July 25 in Chicago.

"[Tate] kind of has a smirk on her face most of the time and you just want to slap that smirk off of it," Kaufman said. "I'd be good at that. I've done it once before and I want to do it again. But she's good at ducking fights and ignoring attention that she doesn't want to get from a fight. As soon as she wants something, she's all over social media. I do something that gets a lot of attention -- it was funny, it was a tasteful callout. Let's do it. Let's get this fight going. Let's get people excited. People are excited. She chooses to ignore it, but will answer every other, 'Hey Miesha, what color are you going to dye your hair next?' question from everyone else."

As for Eye, Kaufman (17-2, 1 NC) doesn't quite understand how a win over Leslie Smith can get her into a No. 1 contender fight when Kaufman beat Smith in her last bout and didn't get the same treatment. Eye did actually defeat Kaufman by split decision in 2013, but that bout was overturned into a no contest when Eye failed a drug test for marijuana.

As it stands now, either Tate or Eye will likely get the next title shot after Bethe Correia, who challenges champion Ronda Rousey in the main event of UFC 190 on Aug. 1 in Rio de Janeiro.

"Both of them are kind of annoying to listen to when they talk, so both would be interesting hype for Ronda," Kaufman said of Tate and Eye. "Because Ronda is going to beat Bethe. It'll be entertaining, but also like nails on a chalkboard trying to listen to them talk about Ronda. It'll be something."

Correia is another opponent Kaufman wanted rather than Davis and Correia accepted her challenge on Twitter. But the UFC had different plans for both women. Kaufman doesn't think Correia is ready for Rousey. She thought the Brazilian should have faced a top-five caliber opponent -- like her -- before getting the title shot. Kaufman, ranked No. 5, doesn't understand why she isn't in the title conversation.

"Maybe it's because I don't talk a lot of trash," Kaufman said. "Sometimes I say things that are true and I think people don't always like that. I think people want a Conor McGregor. They want someone who literally will say anything and everything to get themselves a fight. I'm not willing to do that unless it's true to myself. I'm not willing to parade around and do photo shoots in thong bathing suits and that kind of thing to get attention that way. But I am willing to get in the cage and try and put intelligent conversation together with people and get people interested in the fight that way. The biggest thing for me is going to be finishing fights."

That's the plan against Davis. Kaufman wants to make it so the UFC has no choice but to give her a title fight or at least a bout that will lead to a title shot -- against someone like Tate.

"I'm not here to just have a fight and have it not matter," Kaufman said. "I want it to matter in the form of a gold belt around my waist."