A dream came true for Germany’s best female MMA fighter – a dream wich seemed impossible just a few months ago: Sheila Gaff (10-4-1) is going to fight in the UFC. Today Groundandpound.de learned of her contract signing with the world’s biggest MMA organization. Gaff’s Octagon debut is set for April 27th at UFC 159 in Newark, New Jersey. Her opponent is supposed to be undefeated Sara McMann (6-0), an Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling. Gaff has already agreed to the bout, though official bout agreements haven’t been signed yet.
Sheila Gaff is the first female fighter from Germany to fight in the UFC. The 23 year old flyweight from Eschwege, Hesse is going to compete at bantamweight, the only women’s weight class in the UFC so far. Gaff has signed a four-fight contract.
Groundandpound.de readers have voted Gaff the “Best national female fighter” two years in a row. Since her flyweight debut in February 2011 she is unbeaten in three fights. Cage Warriors veteran Gaff knocked out Sweden’s Hanna Sillen in eight and Brazil’s Jennifer Maia in ten seconds, and she beat Ireland’s Aisling Daly by TKO in 94 seconds. All of her ten wins came in the first round.
“I’m looking forward to proving my skills in the Octagon”, Gaff said to Groundandpound.de. “Getting a UFC contract makes me very happy, especially because right now it is very difficult for Europeans to get signed by the UFC. The UFC’s roster is full because so many Strikeforce fighters have been transferred to the UFC. Me being signed anyway proves how professional my team has worked. I have to be honest, at this point in time I only had two options: Getting signed by the UFC, which I really appreciate, or retiring from MMA and trying my hand at pro boxing.”
In 2004 Sara McMann became the first American woman in history to win a silver medal in wrestling at the Olympic Games. She has also won one silver medal and two bronze medals at the world championships. McMann isn’t just able to throw her opponents to the mat; she also knows a way or two to submit them. In 2009 she won a gold medal at the FILA grappling world championships.
McMann made her professional MMA debut in May 2011. Since then she has competed for Invicta FC, ProElite and Titan FC, amongst others. Her record consists of two victories by submission, two by decision and one by TKO. Her biggest wins have come against Shayna Baszler, Hitomi Akano and Tonya Evinger.
“Sara McMann is definitely the strongest opponent I’ve had so far”, Gaff said. “Her being an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling makes it obvious where her strong points are. But this is a fight, not a wrestling match. She is going to try to put her mark on the fight and I am going to do the same. At the end every fight begins on the feet. I don’t think she has ever had to deal with an opponent who’s walking forward as aggressively as I am and who’s going to put as much pressure on her as I usually do. It is going to be a great fight and I’m looking forward to the challenge!”
One of the most explosive strikers against the best wrestler – Sheila Gaff’s UFC debut promises to be very exciting.