TUF Nations Finale Results: Sarah Kaufman cruises past Leslie Smith
Sarah Kaufman had to prepare for three potential opponents in the span of just more than two weeks.
After all that commotion, when the former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion stepped into the Ocatgon on Wednesday, she wasted no time getting down to business.
Kaufman overwhelmed late replacement Leslie Smith at the TUF Nations Finale in Quebec City, scoring a one-sided victory over her game but overmatched foe. Kaufman won via unanimous decision on across the board 30-27 scores.
One of the best pure boxers in women's MMA, Kaufman used her technical precision to overwhelm Smith in an energetic first round. When Smith did try to get her offense untracked, Kaufman would clinch and overpower her foe.
Smith (6-5-1), a Team Cesar Gracie fighter from Northern California, started leaning cleaner combos as the pace settled down in the second, but Kaufman persisted and landed more solid blows. With the first two rounds in her back pocket, Kaufman cruised through the final round, scoring the fight's only takedown in the final minute for emphasis.
The bout was a rematch of a 2013 Invicta fight considered one of the company's best of the year, a split decision won by Kaufman. Kaufman was originally slated to meet veteran Shayna Baszler, but she had to drop out on April 1 due to an injury. Amanda Nunes was tabbed to replace Baszler, but she, too, had to drop out. Finally, Smith took the call on a week and a half's notice.
Not including a no-contest, Kaufman (17-2) has won five of her past six fights, with the only loss in that stretch to Ronda Rousey in a Strikeforce title fight.
TUF Nations Finale undercard live blog: Stout vs. Noons, More
This is the TUF Nations Finale undercard live blog for the TUF Nations Finale event at the Colisee Pepsi at Quebec City, Quebec.
There will be eight fights on the TUF Nations Finale undercard. Sam Stout vs. KJ Noons, Sarah Kaufman vs. Leslie Smith, Ryan Jimmo vs. Sean O'Connell, George Roop vs. Dustin Kimura, Mark Bocek vs. Mike de la Torre, Nordine Taleb vs. Vik Grujic, Richard Walsh vs. Chris Indich, and Mitch Gagnon vs. Tim Gorman will be featured on the prelims.
Check out the TUF Nations Finale undercard live blog below.
Mitch Gagnon vs. Tim Gorman
Round 1: Referee Dan Miragliotta kicks our afternoon off. Both fighters open orthodox. Gagnon working his left straight. Gorman connects on a solid kick to the midsection. Gagnon rips a hook into Gorman's ribs. That hurt Gorman, and he clinches. Gagnon sprawls away and catches Gorman in a front headlock. Gagnon drops down for a guillotine. Gorman staying busy defending. Gagnon still working for an arm-in guillotine but nothing doing. He finally gives it up. Gagnon wades forward and digs another hook to the body. Gorman blocks a high kick. Gagnon continually going to the body with hooks and kicks. Gorman hunts for a single, can't get it, but muscles Gagnon against the fence. Miragliotta breaks ‘em apart. Big exchange closes us out. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Gagnon.
Round 2: Gagnon comes out jabbing, then throws out a high kick for good measure. Gagnon storms forward and connects on a nice uppercut to the ribs. Gorman works for a single. He switches to a double, back to a single, but he can't get it. Gagnon slips in a standing guillotine and Gorman backs out. Gorman recommits to the double but finds himself threatening by another guillotine. Gorman drops to his back and Gagnon begins to work from his guard. Gorman escapes to his feet but eats a few knees to the jaw on his way up. Big exchange and now Gorman goes back to the doubleleg attempt. No dice. Gorman escapes another guillotine attempt and winds up in top position, but Gagnon is relentless with his submission attempts. Gorman breaks free of a triangle and settles into half guard. Lots of work there to get into a basic position. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Gagnon. (20-18 Gagnon.)
Round 3: Gagnon switches things up and immediately trips Gorman to the canvas. Gagnon postures up but Gorman uses the space to roll to his feet. Gorman working on a single leg against the fence, but he can't get it. Gagnon breaks free and blasts Gorman with a combination. Gagnon sprawls away from the clinch. Gorman eating straight punches and knees but still pressing forward. Gagnon finds his back against the fence. Big Dan separates it. Gagnon dives inside and turns the corner on an easy double leg. Gorman's corner imploring their fighter to "make something happen." Gorman throws up his legs for a triangle but it's no good. Short elbow from Gagnon, and another. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Gagnon. (30-27 Gagnon.)
Mitch Gagnon def. Tim Gorman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Richard Walsh vs. Chris Indich
Round 1: Phillipe Chartier is our referee. Walsh stalking early. Indich shrugs off an early double leg attempt. Walsh looking for the inside trip but he can't get it. Walsh dives inside again and this time he gets the takedown. Indich climbs to his feet and seizes a standing guillotine. Walsh powers out quickly and now he's in top position. Indich uses the cage to climb back to his feet but he's still pressed against the fence. Walsh dumps Indich on his back, but it's short-lived. We're back to the center of the cage. Single leg from Walsh and he dumps Indich right into side control. Indich scrambles out and stands. Walsh back in on a single and he gets it, but Indich catches a tight guillotine. Walsh slowly works out. Nice upkick from Indich. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Walsh.
Round 2: Big left hand right off the bat from Walsh. Walsh swarms with punches. Indich survives but Walsh continues to muscle him up against the fence. A few short elbows land from Walsh. Indich breaks free. Right hand stumbles Indich for a second. Walsh connects with a kick to the midsection. Stiff jab from Walsh, followed up by a straight right. Indich looks tired. Walsh breaks off the clinch and lands a flurry. Good series of short inside elbows land flush for Walsh. Indich is getting blasted by these elbows. Walsh starts unloading a few knees to the body. Looked like he was on the verge of breaking Indich there. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Walsh. (20-18 Walsh.)
Round 3: Walsh easily evades a one-two and answers with a flurry. Indich eats a few short punches against the fence, then reverses. Walsh successfully trips Indich to the mat, landing in half guard. Indich stands but Walsh is relentless with his pressure. Big knees to the body for Walsh. Walsh counters a takedown attempt and wrestles Indich to the floor, taking his back. Walsh rains down a few punches, then misses with a knee to the head as Indich stands. Chartier wants action. Walsh connects with a short right off the break. Not much offense here to close us out. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Walsh. (30-27 Walsh.)
Richard Walsh def. Chris Indich via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nordine Taleb vs. Vik Grujic
Round 1: Referee Dan Miragliotta is the man in charge here. Grujic whiffs on a lunging left. Both guys staying patient and measuring their distance. Grujic eats a jab. Not much action here so far. Grujic wades inside but Taleb counterwrestles and secures a takedown. Taleb settles into Grujic's guard. Taleb postures up and unloads a few short elbows. Grujic tries to scramble to his feet but Taleb is stifling. One last scramble from Grujic works as he climbs to his feet. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Taleb.
Round 2: Taleb catches a lunging side kick and hoists Grujic into the air, slamming him down to the mat. Taleb working inside Grujic's guard. Grujic backs out and stands. Taleb beats Grujic up a bit inside the clinch then secures a nice trip into top position. Taleb advances to half guard and unloads a few short punches. Taleb not giving an inch here. Grujic eats a series of elbows. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Taleb. (20-18 Taleb.)
Round 3: Grujic storms forward with a flurry but can't connect. Grujic stuffs a double leg attempt. Taleb kicks low, and again. Taleb eats a stiff left then shucks off a telegraphed takedown attempt. Taleb working from top position now, and given recent history, we could be here for the rest of the fight. Taleb shifts into half guard and goes to work with short punches. Grujic just can't get anything going. Big left elbow smashes Grujic in the cheek. To his credit, Grujic is trying to escape. He just can't. Another big elbow from Taleb. Grujic's forehead explodes with blood as another elbow opens up a gaping cut. Grujic is drenched in crimson. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Taleb. (30-27 Taleb.)
Nordine Taleb def. Vik Gruijic via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mark Bocek vs. Mike de la Torre
Round 1: We're going to refer to de la Torre as DLT for brevity's sake. Alright? Alright. Yves Lavigne is our referee. They're firing early and Bocek lands a big right. Bocek works his way to DLT's back. DLT squirms out and trips Bocek to the mat. DLT swarms with punches but Bocek climbs back to his feet. Bocek and DLT trading trip attempts along the fence. Bocek breaks free and cracks DLT with a right. They're trading! DLT eats a shot and fires back with a looping right. Bocek dives inside but can't connect. Both men connect with straight rights. Close round. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Bocek.
Round 2: DLT pumps his jab. Bocek lunges inside and gets deep on a double. He gets it, but DLT pops right back to his feet. Bocek continues to work for the takedown. Short elbow from Bocek. Finally Bocek breaks off the clinch. DLT finds a home for an left uppercut, and another. Bocek changes levels but can't get DLT to the ground. John Crouch calls for an uppercut and DLT obliges. DLT really starting to open up now. Another big uppercut for DLT. Bocek fires back with a straight right. Each guy picking and popping here. DLT closes the distance but Bocek reverses against the fence. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 de la Torre. (19-19 overall.)
Round 3: Bocek's face is battered. DLT cracks him with a flurry. Bocek bulldogs forward and blasts DLT off his feet with a double, but DLT immediately stands and disengages. DLT connecting from the outside. Bocek closes the distance again but can't do anything. Bocek dives back inside then eats a big right off the break. Bocek fires back. Big exchange and DLT fights off a takedown attempt. Huge right for Bocek, who transitions right onto DLT's back. Bocek unloads a few short elbows then slithers in a last-second rear-naked choke attempt. Good fight. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Bocek. (29-28 Bocek.)
Mark Bocek def. Mike de la Torre via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
George Roop vs. Dustin Kimura
Round 1: Phillippe Chartier is our referee. Roop the aggressor early, using his length to pick away with jabs and high kicks. Kimura catches a body kick and muscles Roop up against the fence hunting for a single. He gets it, then postures up and catches Roop in a front headlock. Roop stands and gets in deep on his own double. Nothing doing there. Roop hits his own trip and begins to work from inside Kimura's guard. True to his name, Kimura hunting for submission attempts from the bottom but he can't find one. Big elbow from Roop. And another. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Roop.
Round 2: Roop wades inside and whiffs on a looping flurry. Roop pops Kimura with a left hook coming inside. Roop and Kimura continue to trade single shots from the outside. Kimura dives and gets in deep on a double. Roop stands, but Kimura is still working on a single. He gets it, then hops right onto Roop's back. Kimura sinks in his left hook, and now the right. Roop nearly gives up full mount but instead scrambles to his feet. Roop hunting for a takedown from within the clinch. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Kimura. (19-19 overall.)
Round 3: Roop instantly gets the takedown and settles inside Kimura's guard. Roop going to work with short elbows and punches. Kimura throws up his legs for a sub attempt but is stifled. Massive elbow from Roop. No clue how that didn't cut Kimura. Kimura needs to do something drastic here. Roop rains down a few right hammerfists. Roop scoots Kimura away from the fence and advances into half guard. Kimura regains his guard but he needs to get up. Roop crushes his right elbow into the brow of Kimura. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Roop. (29-28 Roop.)
George Roop def. Dustin Kimura via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-26)
Ryan Jimmo vs. Sean O'Connell
Round 1: Referee Dan Miragliotta oversees the action. O'Connell ducks under a high kick and turns a Jimmo slip into a takedown. Jimmo scrambles back to his feet but O'Connell muscles him against the fence. Jimmo reverses and pops O'Connell in the face with a knee. Jimmo blasts O'Connell with a right. O'Connell fires back and smashes a pair of straight rights into Jimmo's jaw. O'Connell working from the clinch here, hunting for a trip. Low blow sidelines Jimmo for a moment, but after a quick break, we're back. Jimmo gets a blast double but O'Connell pops back to his feet and clinches. Miragliotta splits up the action, and right away Jimmo just DESTROYS O'Connell with a counter right. Wow. A few more follow-up shots and this one is over.
Ryan Jimmo def. Sean O'Connell via KO (punch) at 4:27 of round one
Sarah Kaufman vs. Leslie Smith
Round 1: Yves Lavigne is our referee. This should be a good one. They're slugging it out already. Smith ties up and eats a few knees. Kaufman kicks out Smith's leg but Smith pops back up. Big flurry and Kaufman gets the better of it. Smith closes the distance but winds up with her back against the fence. Smith reverses and Kaufman connects off the break. Kaufman blasts Smith with a right, followed by another flurry. Smith just eating it and stalking forward. Kaufman working short knees from the clinch. Smith eats a big right, and another. Smith and Kaufman both stand and trade with no regard for their own well being. Kaufman's getting the better of these exchanges. Smith wards off a trip attempt and fires back with a high kick. Great round. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Kaufman.
Round 2: They pick up right where they left off, slugging it out in the center of the Octagon. Smith closes the distance and they battle in the clinch picks up. Kaufman throws a big combination of the break. Kaufman goes over the top then inside with uppercuts. Smith misses with a high kick. Kaufman rips a knee to the body. Smith continues to fire but there's not much behind her strikes and she's eating a few punches for every one she's delivering. Kaufman stalks forward and reengages the clinch for a few knees. Smith works for a single against the fence but she can't get it. Kaufman rockets a right uppercut into Smith's jaw then follows up with another combination. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Kaufman. (20-18 Kaufman.)
Round 3: Immediately to the clinch, and Smith connects on a few looping punches. Kaufman fires back then grabs the Thai plum. Smith backs out and eats a straight punch. Kaufman wades inside with uppercuts, then goes back to knees to the midsection. Big exchange and they're back to slugging it out. Huge right hand from Kaufman! Big shots all around. Kaufman bulls Smith against the fence. Kaufman nearly downs Smith with an inside leg kick. Kaufman trips Smith to the canvas, landing in side control. Kaufman scrambles to a backside crucifix. Smith slowly climbs to her feet but eats another big flurry for her troubles. Fun fight. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Kaufman. (30-27 Kaufman.)
Sarah Kaufman def. Leslie Smith via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Sam Stout vs. K.J. Noons
TUF Nations Finale Results: Bisping vs. Kennedy
MMA Fighting has TUF Nations Finale results for the Bisping vs. Kennedy fight card April 16, plus live blogs of all the fights, and live UFC TUF Nations Finale twitter updates.
In the main event, Michael Bisping will square off Tim Kennedy in a middleweight clash. Also on the main card, TUF Nations coaches Patrick Cote and Kyle Noke will battle in the co-main event.
Check out the TUF Nations Finale results below.
Main card (FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET)
Michael Bisping vs. Tim Kennedy
Patrick Cote vs. Kyle Noke
Sheldon Westcott vs. Elias Theodorou
Chad Laprise vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Dustin Poirier vs. Akira Corassani
Undercard (FOX Sports 1 now)
Sam Stout vs. K.J. Noons (live blog)
Sarah Kaufman def. Leslie Smith via unanimous decision (live blog)
Ryan Jimmo def. Sean O'connell via KO in round 1 (live blog)
George Roop def. Dustin Kimura via unanimous decision (live blog)
Mark Bocek def. Mike de la Torre via split decision (live blog)
Nordine Taleb def. Vik Grujic via unanimous decision (live blog)
Richard Walsh def. Chris Indich via unanimous decision (live blog)
Mitch Gagnon def. Tim Gorman via unanimous decision (live blog)
‘Frodo’ Khasbulaev still dealing with visa issues, anxious for Bellator return
Patricio Freire was frustrated he didn’t get his shot at the Bellator featherweight title yet, but he’s not the only tournament winner that can’t fight for the gold.
Magomedrasul Khasbulaev, affectionately known as 'Frodo', earned the right to fight for the championship after winning the eighth season of the featherweight tournament with wins over Mike Richman, Marlon Sandro and Fabricio Guerreiro in 2013, but he was grounded in Russia with visa issues and never returned to the United States.
"I have spent almost a year already (in this) battle," Khasbulaev told MMAFighting.com. "I don’t know when I can speak (about it). Until the visa is given, I can’t participate in this organization."
"Frodo" says he doesn’t know the reason why he can’t get a visa to enter the United States and compete inside the Bellator cage.
"I don’t know what the case is," he said. "They don’t tell me the reason, but I think that this is what the error is."
Khasbulaev is confident that he will be able to fight for the Bellator title in the future, and he says the promotion is doing what they can to help him.
"(Bellator) helped me and I was (expected) to come back faster, but still I (had the visa) denied," "Frodo" said. "Much has really changed but I still keep myself in shape and ready at any time to return to the cage and fight for the title so I don’t lose momentum."
While Khasbulaev isn’t cleared to enter the country, two-time tournament winner Patricio "Pitbull" Freire prepares to challenge Pat Curran for the Bellator featherweight championship in 2014.
Ronny Markes, Rafaello Oliveira, and Thiago Perpetuo are released by UFC
Three Brazilians are no longer part of the UFC.
Ronny Markes, Rafaello Trator and Thiago Perpetuo were released by the promotion after back-to-back losses in their last couple appearances inside the Octagon, multiple sources close to the situation confirmed to MMAFighting.com.
Markes (14-3) started his UFC career with three straight decision victories, but his good run ended last June. Forced out of a bout with Derek Brunson a day before the fight after suffering a car accident, Markes returned to the cage five months later in a third-round TKO loss to Yoel Romero. In his last UFC appearance, the Nova Uniao fighter failed to make weight and was stopped by Thiago Santos 53 seconds into the first round.
Oliveira (17-8), who went 1-2 in his first run in the UFC, returned to the promotion in 2011. "Tractor" fought five times under the UFC banner from 2011 to 2014, suffering losses to Gleison Tibau, Yves Edwards, Edson Barboza and Erik Koch. His only UFC win recently came against Yoislandy Izquierdo at UFC 148.
Perpetuo (9-3-1), a former TUF: Brazil 1 member, entered the UFC with a devastating TKO win over Leonardo Mafra Texeira, but that ended up being his only victory inside the Octagon. After battling injuries, "Bodao" suffered first-round stoppage losses to Omari Akhmedov and Kenny Robertson in Brazil.