UFC to launch 115-lb female division

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The first season of

“The

Ultimate Fighter” featuring women has been so successful,

the UFC is adding another female weight class, according to

president Dana White.

White said on FOXSports.com’s

href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/fox-sports/id657575151?mt=2"

target="_blank">“The Fighter & The Kid”

podcast that the UFC has begun “working on”

debuting a 115-pound women’s division.

href="http://www.mmaweekly.com/ufc-adding-strawweight-division-115lbs-but-no-timeline-for-the-debut)"

target="_blank">White has previously spoken about bringing in

115-pound men, but has been non-committal about a new division for

the ladies.

“I’ll give you guys something nobody knows yet.

We’re actually working on bringing in another division for

the women, which I said would never happen for a long time,”

White told hosts Brendan Schaub and Bryan Callen. “125 pounds or

145 pounds?” Schaub asked. “Neither . . . 115 pounds,” White

replied.

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(Dana White reveals that a 115-lb women’s weight class is

coming to the UFC.)

He used the word “never” when asked two years ago if

women would fight in the UFC. Ronda Rousey changed his mind, and

her success combined with the growing popularity of women’s

MMA have seemingly assured White that they are undoubtedly here to

stay.

White said that the episodes featuring women’s fights on

“The Ultimate Fighter” this season have drawn

44-percent higher ratings on FOX Sports 1 than shows with men

fighting. Rousey and bitter rival Miesha Tate are this

season’s coaches.

Quickly, women’s fights have developed a reputation for at

times being even more exciting than men’s bouts.

“I never in a million years thought that it would take off

the way that it has,” White said.

Right now, the UFC has just one women’s division:

bantamweight (135 pounds), where Rousey is the champion. Adding

strawweight, one of the most talent-rich classes in women’s

MMA, will allow the UFC to sign some of the best female fighters in

the world, like Invicta FC 115-pound champion Carla Esparza, her

No. 1 contender Claudia Gadelha and blonde bombshell Felice

Herrig.

There’s also the possibility of the UFC inking female

fighters who currently compete at 125 and 105, but are willing to

move either up or down a weight class.

Rousey and Liz Carmouche debuted the 135-pound women’s

division back in February and the UFC also added flyweight men

(125) last year.

As White has said many times that  starting smaller weight

classes is crucial as the UFC continues its global expansion.

Women’s straw-weight is set to be next.