TUF 26 to feature new women’s flyweight division…or does it

May 3, 2017

According to a UFC press release sent on Wednesday, it announced another women’s division at flyweight with the new division being featured on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.  However, Ariel Helwani and Kevin Iole report that the announcement may have been premature.

The UFC press release reads:

Las Vegas – A new division will be created and a new champion will emerge from the next season of The Ultimate Fighter®. Women’s flyweights, between the ages of 21-34 with a winning record and at least three professional fights are invited to attend the open casting call in Las Vegas. The season will also be open to females on the current UFC roster that can successfully make 125-pounds throughout the duration of the season. The previous casting call for women’s strawweights and bantamweights as well as male middleweights has been cancelled. The season will begin filming in July and premiere on FS1 later this year.

Applications, which should be completed and brought to tryouts, can be found online at http://www.ufc.com/TUF26. The athletes will be required to grapple and hit pads, so please bring appropriate gear. Applicants will be notified at the end of the day if they have been selected to move on in the casting process. If selected, applicants must be prepared to stay in Las Vegas until Saturday, May 27. All questions can be directed to gdefranco@pilgrimstudios.com.

The Ultimate Fighter, which debuted in 2005, has launched the careers of some of the UFC’s most recognizable names and successful athletes. The series has produced six UFC champions including Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, TJ Dillashaw, Carla Esparza, and Matt Serra.

WHO:             125-pound women

WHEN:          Tuesday, May 23 at 8 a.m. PT

WHERE:       Palace Station Hotel

2411 W. Sahara Ave.

Las Vegas, NV 89102

According to a Kevin Iole story Tuesday night, he indicates the UFC is “considering” a 125 pound division.  In speaking with Dana White, he states the press release was sent in error.  Ariel Helwani tweeted that the division has yet to be approved.  It was not clear the entity that would need to approve of the new division.

Payout Perspective:

A 125 division might be advantageous for women that have a hard time making the 115 pound weight class and are too small for 135 pounds.  But, it would create a glut of titles in the UFC.  It already established a women’s 145 pound division although there are maybe two or three fighters in that division.  As for the miscommunication, it seems as though this was a faux pas although one that was received with mostly positive reviews.  With the news out there, I would think that this it is a formality until this is confirmed.

2 Responses to “TUF 26 to feature new women’s flyweight division…or does it”

  1. Juchi on May 9th, 2017 12:28 PM

    Just curious as to how opening one more division will “would create a glut of titles in the UFC.” Boxing has 8 divisions (admittedly ludicrous) below 135 while the UFC has 1. Adding one or two more certainly won’t be providing a glut of titles. If one is that concerned about the number of divisions, eliminate 145 and just have a woman’s heavyweight division for those over 136. There are far fewer ranked fighters above 136 than there are in the 125 division. I would imagine that Cyborg could take them all regardless of the weight.

  2. Jason Cruz on May 9th, 2017 2:23 PM

    I think the issue is where do you find people to compete for these titles. They just made the 145 women’s division so there’s no way they close it down. Despite all of the events the UFC has, they still have to find fighters to compete for these things.

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