UFC may be getting ready to launch a Women’s Flyweight Division, but talks of a season of “The Ultimate Fighter” to crown its first champion may be premature.
A UFC press release went out Wednesday evening touting the fact that the upcoming 26th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” will determine the inaugural UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion. The release, which remains posted to the front page at UFC.com, calls for fighters between the ages of 21-34 with a winning record over at least three professional fights to attend an open casting call in Las Vegas, Nev. on May 23. The release also stated that current members of the UFC roster who could make the 125-pound weight limit throughout the season would be eligible to compete on the show as well.
A few hours after the news was out, Dana White told Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports that the announcement was premature and that the release was sent out in error.
If the season does go through, it would be the second time “The Ultimate Fighter” was used to crown a new champion. Carla Esparza won the show’s 20th season in 2015 to become UFC’s first Strawweight Champion. The 26th edition of “The Ultimate Fighter” is set to tape in July for a fall airing on FS1.
The announcement comes just days after Bellator announced a number of signings of fighters with plans to start up a Women’s Flyweight Division of their own, including former UFC Strawweight Championship challenger Valerie Letourneau.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: A Women’s Flyweight Division is a logical weight-class for UFC to add, much more so than women’s 145 was. I’m not sure what the source of the confusion is regarding whether the season is happening or not, but it could be something like there’s a fighter UFC is hoping to secure for the season and they haven’t finalized the deal yet. It could also be something as simple as the dates for the tryouts are not official yet. Either way, it looks as if UFC will be implementing a Women’s Flyweight Division sometime soon. It will create opportunities for some undersized 135-ers and make for an easier weight cut for those who struggle to make 115. It will deplete those two divisions to a certain extent, but it’s overall a net positive for UFC and for fans.
THURSDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Shortly after Nate Diaz did a special interview with Ariel Helwani saying that he’s willing to fight either for the right money or the right person, Dana White told TMZ that he doesn’t think either Diaz brother will fight again. “They don’t seem like they wanna fight,” White said. “If they want to fight next week or if they never want to fight again, that’s up to them. It’s not up to me.”
-Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko is being targeted for UFC 213 on July 8 from Las Vegas according to MMA Fighting, but has not yet been made official.
-UFC officially announced Donald Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler and Fabricio Werdum vs. Alistair Overeem for UFC 213 on top of the previously announced Anthony Pettis vs. Jim Miller fight.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 5/3: Nate Diaz says MMA is boring right now and Conor McMahon should want to fight him (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)