Sarah Kaufman, Gabe Sagman among the dominant performances delivered at BTC 13

From established veterans showing their teeth to young prospects on the rise, BTC 13 delivered on all fronts on Saturday night in St. Catharines, Ont.

In the main event, Canadian women’s MMA pioneer Sarah Kaufman (now 22-5) wasted no time in capturing the win, finishing Jessy Miele (now 9-6) with ground and pound in the first round.

Out of action since 2019 and struggling to find a willing opponent to share the cage with in that time, Kaufman said she was grateful to have the opportunity with BTC Fight Promotions.

“Thank you for BTC for putting on this fight, for getting me here, and for Jessy for stepping in,” said Kaufman in her post-fight interview.

“And man, I wanted a first round finish. I feel so great, so great.”

Throughout her career, Kaufman has competed on the sport’s biggest stages and shared the cage with the sport’s most elite fighters, including Valentina Shevchenko and Ronda Rousey.

Kaufman said she believes she belongs on the biggest stage once again and feels the UFC should never have taken their eyes off her.

“I’m here, I’m ready to go, I’m literally Canada’s top female fighter. Put me in, give me all the big fights. I want the biggest names, I should be number one in the world, I know I can be,” said Kaufman.

“Amanda Nunes, that’s the fight I want. I want to be number one in the world.”

In flyweight action, Gabe Sagman (now 7-4) utilized his elite wrestling skill set to take a unanimous decision over Matt Dawson (now 2-2).

Outside of a shaky start in which he took a hard shot from Dawson in the first exchange, Sagman said he was happy with his performance and earning the win, which is the most important part.

“He had nothing for me in the grappling. I think that was kind of the story of the fight. I took him down and anytime I got on top of him it was pretty smothering top pressure,” said Sagman in an interview with MMA Empire.

“He had some scrambles here and there, but the biggest thing I found was just finding that balance between doing damage from the top position but not wanting to posture up and give him too much space where he could scramble and get away. I had to settle for a little tighter and just chipping away.”

Sagman has now won two straight and three of his last four contests. This was his first time competing back at flyweight since 2016.

Sagman said there aren’t too many options for him moving forward in Canada, but said he believes a title shot should be next if he returns to the BTC cage.

“The guy commentating the fight, in the post-fight interview, I feel like he was setting up that title fight with me and James Clarke, who’s the current champion for BTC. But I’m not really sure what his whole deal is if he’s locked in with B2 Fighting Series or if he’s going to come back. Honestly, I don’t care about fighting him, but if I do return to BTC I think, rightfully, I should be fighting for their belt next,” said Sagman.

“Outside of that, there’s not really too many guys at flyweight in Canada, especially that would make sense to be fighting me with my experience level. I’ve been outspoken that I want to fight Chris Kelades; I think that would be a cool name. I know the guys with Fight League Atlantic, so I told them I’d like that fight. If Chris is ever ready for that fight and wants a homecoming fight with them I’d be more than willing to oblige.”

BTC 13 also marked the start of the $10k bantamweight tournament. Izzudeen Atmeh, Ariel Zuniga, Vinny Dias and Albaraa Atmeh all advanced to the semi-finals, which are set for March 5, 2022.

Xavier Nash, Teshay Gouthro, Cody Chovancek and Binaebi Otoru were also victorious on the card.