Sarah Kaufman wins big in Professional Fighters League debut

Sarah Kaufman, of Victoria, B.C. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Sarah Kaufman opened her Professional Fighters League account with a first-round win, earning kudos along the way.

"Great performance," tweeted former UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg.

"That was an impressive ProFightLeague event tonight ,.. and the 155 lb women’s division was so fun in a scary way to watch," former fighter Gina Carano tweeted. "Beasts in the best type of way."

Kaufman, a former Strikeforce and Invicta title-holder, needed just two minute 22 seconds to submit American lightweight Morgan Frier at PFL 1 on Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum.

Frier (4-2-0) tried to take Kaufman to the ground but the 33-year-old from Victoria took control and dragged her opponent down. Kaufman (21-4-0 with one no contest)moved into mount and then set up an arm-triangle, forcing a tap.

The PFL, formerly the World Series of Fighting (WSOF), offers MMA in a season format with fighters in six weight classes going after a world title and US$1 million payday.

Season 2 features the first-ever lightweight (155-pound) women’s division, with Kaufman moving up from her normal bantamweight (135-pound) class.

The PFL points system features three points for a win and one for a draw with bonus points awarded for stoppages (three in the first round, two in the second and one in the third). Points will determine playoff seeding.

Bobbi Jo Dalziel (5-0-0) of Sarnia, Ont., won a unanimous decision over Australian Genah Fabian (1-1-0) on the preliminary card.

Kaufman now tops the women’s standings with six points. Dalziel is tied with two others at three points.

Each of the athletes will have two fights during the PFL regular season which runs through August. The top eight fighters in each weight class advance to the single-elimination playoffs in October with a championship card set for New Year’s Eve.

Kaufman’s next bout will be July 11 at PFL 4 in Atlantic City, N.J. Two more fights await in the playoffs for the women, three for the men who are in a larger bracket.

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