During a Wednesday conference call, UFC President Dana White officially confirmed that the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world will be launching a women’s strawweight division. White also announced that The Ultimate Fighter will feature an all-women’s season with strawweight fighters, and the winner will be crowned the champion of the new division.
The UFC began working towards establishing a women’s strawweight division when they acquired the contracts of eleven strawweight fighters from Invicta FC in a deal that took approximately four weeks to negotiate.
On May 18th, that same group of fighters will head to Las Vegas to begin filming their season of TUF.
According to FOX Sports, those eleven fighters are Americans Carla Esparza, Felice Herrig, Emily Kagan, Rose Namajunas, Tecia Torres and Paige VanZant; Brazilians Claudia Gadelha and Juliana Lima; Australians Alex Chambers and Bec Hyatt; and Joanne Calderwood of Scotland.
White commented, “From a guy who was saying ‘Never, never, never’ [on women], I’m pretty excited about this.”
This latest addition of the female strawweight division is just another indicator of the UFC’s growing commitment to women’s MMA.