The UFC has announced that Sarah Kaufman will meet recent signee Jessica Eye at the UFC 166 event scheduled for Houston on October 19th. The card is headlined by the Cain Velasquez vs Junior Dos Santos trilogy closer for the Heavyweight title. The match will likely be on the undercard, and both women are bringing excellent records in 10 plus fights to their UFC debuts. Look for Kaufman to be the favorite at the sport books when the lines are published, as she has an experience and size advantage over Eye that are going to be hard to overlook.
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Now, the UFC has signed Eye from Bellator’s roster, as that group has pulled the plug on women’s fights altogether. The UFC has gotten themselves a pretty enticing prospect in Eye, who is 10-1 and has been on a 7 fight winning streak. The problem with the UFC’s current women’s structure hangs as a spectre over the signing, however.
The UFC has limited the women’s weight classes to just Bantamweight, which is 126 to 135 lbs. Eye is one of a number of women who are moving to that weight class to fight at a less than optimal weight because the UFC leaves them no other choice. Eye is a competitor who is best suited to the Flyweight 125 lb limit, and against the best women at 135 lbs, the size and strength difference will show. It is a shame that the UFC has been hard headed about keeping only one weight division. Rosi Sexton, a British competitor who could be a champion at 125 lbs has already gone 0-1 in the UFC and Eye is likely to follow the same script.
Kaufman is 16-2, with her losses coming to Marloes Coenen and Ronda Rousey. She owns quality wins in the weight class over UFC talent Meisha Tate, Alexis Davis and Liz Carmouche, as well as top names pending UFC debuts such as Roxanne Modaferri and Shanya Bazler.
Eye is going to be a big underdog, so much so that an underdog bet may have some value, however more likely to come from this match will be further calls for the UFC to expand their Women’s divisions.