An injury has forced MMA veteran Shayna Baszler off of the TUF: Nations Finale in Canada later this month, and top 10-ranked Amanda Nunes has agreed to step in on short notice to fight former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman.

Kaufman hasn’t competed since coming out on the wrong end of a close decision to Jessica Eye in her promotional debut at UFC 166 last October. The loss was later changed to a no-contest when Eye failed her post-fight drug test, but nonetheless, the Canadian will look to score her first Octagon win in front of her countrymen on April 16. With the 135-pound division getting cluttered with possible contenders both in and outside of the promotion, it’s a fight that Kaufman can’t afford to lose.

Nunes was set to fight just a days later at UFC on Fox 11 against UFC newcomer Alexis Dufresne in Orlando, Fla., but instead she’ll jump into a bout with the former title holder and top five-ranked bantamweight. Nunes has dominted her UFC opposition thus far, taking out both Sheila Gaff and Germanie de Randamie in the first round. A win over a former champion like Kaufman would be a huge notch on her resume, and would propel her a step closer to title contention.

For Baszler, this is an unfortunate setback that is only going to make an already extensive layoff even longer. “The Queen of Spades” hasn’t competed professionally since a submission loss to Alexis Davis over a year ago at Invicta FC 4. Baszler was able to win her elimination round fight on TUF, but she suffered an upset loss to eventual winner Julianna Pena early in the competition. Injuries prevented her from making her debut at the TUF 18 Finale late last year, and after this recent injury it will be even longer before Baszler makes her Octagon debut.

The TUF: Nations Finale takes place Wednesday, April 16 from Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Headlined by middleweight contenders Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy, the card will also feature the finals of the welterweight and middleweight tournaments from The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. The main card will air live on Fox Sports 1.

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.