Following UFC 186, Sarah Kaufman wants Cat Zingano or Miesha Tate next

After a strong first round showing, Sarah Kaufman was setting the tone for her second UFC win and her third career victory over Alexis Davis, but the UFC 186 preliminary fight dramatically changed in the second frame with Davis tossing the fellow Canadian to the ground and eventually locking on a fight-ending armbar.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Davis’ armbar was tight from the get-go as Kaufman tapped shortly after the hold was locked on, but Kaufman was forced to endure the submission for several unnecessary seconds because referee Jerin Valel was out of position and could not see the tap.

“I tapped, and then I tapped again and then I said tap and at some point, he stopped it,” Kaufman send in the UFC 186 post-fight scrum. “Unfortunately, he was on the wrong side, and that happens in fights. We were up against the cage in a weird spot, and when she rolled over, he was behind us. That’s the fight game. I’m a fast healer, so [I’m] a bit sore now, and it’ll be fine, ready to go whenever I’m able to get back in that UFC cage, maybe Cat Zingano wants to meet up?”

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first or second time this year that Valel has allowed a submission to be held for a dangerous amount of time. Just two months ago at UFC 184, Valel watched as Jake Ellenberger choked out Josh Koscheck and Roan Carneiro choked Mark Munoz unconscious and then watched a little bit more, until he finally decided to call both fights when both Koscheck and Munoz were clearly done for an extended period of time.

For Valel, this has been a rough stretch. He’s been an official for over five years, and prior to UFC 184, he had a reputation as an underrated and skilled referee. Valel was one of the individuals that took and passed John McCarthy’s referee and judging courses back in 2009. Towards the end of his book Let’s Get It On!, McCarthy glowed about Valel’s potential as a referee saying, “He’s a phenomenal representative for COMMAND [McCarthy’s school] and also for the future of officiating in MMA.”

Back to Kaufman, she called out a pair of fellow bantamweights that she wouldn’t mind squaring up with next.

“Well I want to fight Miesha Tate. Miesha, come fight me. But she has a fight [against Jessica Eye in July], so if that fight doesn’t work out, I will happily be ready to step in,” said Kaufman. “But if they don’t book that fight, Cat Zingano, I think is a great option, she’s coming off a loss to Ronda. Clearly, I’m coming off a loss to Alexis. That fight together is going to be a great fight, and the fans are going to get hyped about it, I’m going to get hyped about it and hopefully, Cat will get hyped about it.”

As far as a potential fourth fight against Davis goes, Kaufman has mixed and rather apathetic feelings about that match-up.

“Once someone wins, they’ve won, unless it’s for something big, it really seems silly to keep going back to the same pot over and over again,” said Kaufman. “If that fight comes up, I’m not going to say no, but I’m also not really going to push for it at this point.”