Fighting teammates in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) is a common theme. Most recently, Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne were asked to do just that at the UFC 187 pay-per-view (PPV) back in May.
Even more recently, perennial Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight contender Sarah Kaufman was expecting to do likewise against her Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA teammate and current title contender Holly Holm.
"It was funny, when I first got the call to fight Holly I was like, ‘Really, Holly?’ We’re good friends, we’re teammates and I personally didn’t think it made a ton of sense with her being ready to go towards a title shot and me just coming off a loss. It was a fight that we didn't really know what to think about," Kaufman told MMAjunkie.
"The Preacher's Daughter" was announced last week as the next opponent for 135-pound champion Ronda Rousey at the UFC 195 pay-per-view (PPV) in January. Holm has two wins under the UFC banner, including a lopsided decision victory over Marion Reneau at UFC Fight Night 71 back in July.
Kaufman was just as surprised as all of us.
"I wake up Friday morning at get a text at 5:45 in the morning saying, ‘So, it’s not happening?'," she recalled. "At this point, I’m excited for Holly to get a title fight, I’m excited that I don’t have to fight a friend if I don’t have to, but disappointed I don’t currently have a fight."
Now, and as she has done for the past several months, she will begin to campaign for another Octagon dance partner.
"I’m hoping I get Bethe (Correia) or Miesha Tate or Cat Zingano," Kaufman said.
The soon-to-be 30-year-old combat sports veteran has endured an uneven UFC career. Kaufman possesses a 1-1 (1) record, with her lone victory being a unanimous decision romp over Leslie Smith in April 2014.
Despite that, Kaufman still calls the top five of the 135-pound division home, based upon UFC's official rankings.
"Alpha," who lost a gut-wrenching, first-round armbar to Rousey at UFC 184 back in February, still intends on getting herself a title rematch (via ESPN). Zingano also divulged her plan of fighting by the end of the year.
Whether Kaufman gets matched with the 33-year-old powerhouse remains to be seen. As far as Tate goes, she will reportedly be slotted against the surging Amanda Nunes, or perhaps previous No. 1 contender Bethe Correia.