Alexis Davis is coming off a quick TKO at the hands of UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Sarah Kaufman thinks Davis could still be feeling the effects -- and is planning on finding out for herself.
Kaufman told MMAFighting.com that she plans to test Davis' chin at UFC 186 on Saturday night in Montreal. And, in doing so, believes she could send the successful fighter out of the sport for good.
"It's kind of right at that tipping point," Kaufman said of Davis' chin. "And I think this fight could potentially end Alexis' career. I think she's right on that tipping point and I think I can break her. It could be the end of Alexis."
Kaufman (17-2, 1 NC) has already beaten Davis twice, once in 2007 and again in 2012. She wasn't a big fan of the matchup, but has been out for more than a year and wanted to get back in the Octagon. However, the Canadian has gained motivation for the bout and that is to make it so the UFC has no choice but to put her in the women's bantamweight title conversation.
"When I first got the call, I wasn't happy," Kaufman said. "I'm not going to pretend I was. I wasn't really excited to be fighting Alexis for a third time. I think it puts me in a situation of something of a lose-lose where you've already won twice so you're expected to win a third time.
"There's a lot of things pressuring me in this fight to do well. I've forgotten about a lot of that luckily. But when I got the first call it was like, wow. It was kind of a slap in the face a bit, to be an afterthought. It was like, 'OK, you and Alexis, we'll just throw you together, because we really don't know what to do with you' is kind of what it felt like. Even though it's going to be a really exciting fight."
The second fight between Kaufman and Davis, under the Strikeforce banner, was probably the best women's MMA fight of 2012. Kaufman took home a majority decision, but Davis just kept on coming in a bloody war. Since then, Davis has just one loss and it came against Rousey at UFC 175 last July. This is her first fight back after the 16-second defeat.
Kaufman thinks the damage Davis, 30, has absorbed over her career is beginning to add up.
"Eventually your chin starts to go and I think you're starting to see that with Alexis -- unfortunately, because she's a great fighter," Kaufman said. "So I hope to exploit that and be able to finish the fight."
Kaufman, 29, remains one of the best women's bantamweight fighters in the world. Her only loss since 2010 came against Rousey in Strikeforce back in 2012. Kaufman has only fought three times since, though, with two wins over Leslie Smith and a no contest against Jessica Eye on her record. Kaufman lost a close split decision to Eye in 2013, but the result was overturned when Eye failed a drug test for marijuana.
This will be Kaufman's first bout since beating Smith on April 16, 2014. She got into a car accident last May that put her out of action for a few months. But Kaufman has been ready to go since the fall. Another fight against Davis wasn't necessarily attractive to her, but if she wants to get paid she needs to compete.
Kaufman's goal now is to give the UFC "no other path except Sarah Kaufman getting a title shot." That, in her mind, will start with a stoppage of Davis on Saturday.
"All I need to do is just go in and finish fights," Kaufman said. "Standing, on the ground, submissions. It doesn't matter how I finish it. Just get it done and make people care."