Invicta FC 27 Main Event of Sarah Kaufman vs. Pannie Kianzad Announced

Sarah Kaufman Invicta FC
Sarah Kaufman vs. Leslie Smith Credit: Dave Mandel/

Canada’s Sarah Kaufman has her opponent set for next month. In her Invicta return, she’ll take on Pannie Kianzad in the Invicta FC 27 main event.

On Tuesday, Invicta FC announced the headliner for its next event, January’s Invicta FC 27. Meeting the previously announced Sarah Kaufman in the Invicta FC 27 main event will be Pannie Kianzad. In addition, the promotion unveiled eight other bouts for the card, including the return of flyweight standout Vanessa Porto.

In the main event, former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman will return to Invicta FC for the first time since 2013. Kaufman (18–4 (1)) joined the UFC subsequent to her lone Invicta appearance; there, she went 1-2 (1NC) against some of the best in the division, including former title challengers Alexis Davis and Valentina Shevchenko. When her UFC contract was not renewed, Kaufman took a fight with Korea’s Battlefield FC. That fight, a win over current UFC prospect Jessica Rose-Clark, got her back on track, but a cloud formed over the victory when the promotion failed to pay Kaufman and several other fighters.

The much more stable environment of Invicta FC should remedy that — and could set up Kaufman for a UFC return. The Canadian remains among the elite on the women’s side of the sport, after all.

Pannie Kianzad (8–2), meanwhile, is an Iranian-Swedish fighter coming off back-to-back losses under the Invicta banner. She dropped a 2015 bout with then-bantamweight champ Tonya Evinger (Kianzad missed weight for the fight, making it a non-title affair). After a lengthy absence, she returned in January of this year, only to be submitted by former title challenger Raquel Pa’aluhi.

Against Kaufman, she’ll be facing another big test while looking to get her career back on track.

In addition to the Invicta FC 27 main event, the following bouts have been announced for the card:

Vanessa Porto vs. Mariana Morais
Sharon Jacobson vs. Ashley Nichols
Ashley Cummins vs. Stephanie Alba
Brogan Walker-Sanchez vs. TBA
Felicia Spencer vs. Akeela Al-Hameed
Mallory Martin vs. Tiffany Masters
Loma Lookboonmee vs. Melissa Wang
Jade Ripley vs. Helen Peralta

Invicta FC 27 takes place Saturday, January 13 at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, MO. The event airs live exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.