Sarah Kaufman is one of hottest ‘new’ fighters on the block … 7 fights, 7 wins, 7 KOs. But she’s also got the same problem as nearly every other female fighter out there: she just can’t seem to get any bookings.
Idle since March when she scored a TKO victory over Molly Helsel (Pictures) at HCF “Crow’s Nest,” Kaufman has been not so patiently spending her days training and teaching at ZUMA Gym in Victoria, where she makes her living teaching classes, as well as acting as office manager.
“I just want to fight, and I’m getting really antsy that no one is stepping up to sign me,” said Kaufman. “All of these people are ‘We want you, we want you!’ Then suddenly ‘Maybe we don’t’ or ‘We’re actually not sure.’ I personally don’t know if they see my fights and they’re not sure if they want me to go against their girls. It’s frustrating for me because I just want to fight.”
This is the oldest story in the book: there just aren’t enough promotions booking female fighters, and even the ones that do usually only feature one fight per card. The result? A whole bunch of really talented fighters are stuck twiddling their thumbs instead of kicking some ass.
Welcome to the catch 22 of female MMA: people like Dana White say that there’s just not enough depth in the women’s rankings to justify featuring them, but until someone starts featuring them that depth isn’t going to get any deeper. The sport has already lost several of it’s best female fighters on account of this situation. Jennifer Howe, Erin Toughill and Laura D’Auguste are all fighters who have just stopped competing on account of the lack of opportunities for female fighters.
I’m not too worried about the health of female MMA … it’s only going to get better and better for everyone involved. I just think it sucks for the fighters right now who can’t manage to land a booking if their life depended on it.