UFC launches women’s flyweight division with new season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’
The UFC will finally add a women’s flyweight division with the launch of the new season of “The Ultimate Fighter” with filming set to begin in July.
The new season will feature a cast made up entirely of 125-pound women’s fighters with the winner being crowned the first ever champion in the division.
The format is similar to season 20 of “The Ultimate Fighter” where the women’s strawweight division was introduced with Carla Esparza winning the show to become the first champion at 115-pounds.
Tryouts for the new season will take place on Tuesday, May 23 at the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas with fighters between the ages of 21-34 with a winning record and at least three fights eligible for the show.
Women’s fighters on the current UFC roster will also be eligible to participate in the show as long as they are able to consistently make 125-pounds throughout the season.
This is a major move for the promotion after UFC president Dana White insisted for months that he wasn’t ready to add another division to the roster. Despite those claims, several top women’s fighters have been clamoring for the chance to compete in a more natural weight class at 125-pounds rather than fighting up at bantamweight or moving down to strawweight.
Notable names on the UFC roster who have previously competed at 125 pounds include Jessica Eye and Joanne Calderwood, who actually fought in the first ever women’s flyweight bout inside the Octagon when she knocked out Valerie Letourneau last year.
The new season of “The Ultimate Fighter” will begin filming in July with the show airing on FS1 later this year. No word on who will be coaching the season at this time either.
Fighters interested in trying out can find applications here and will be required to grapple and hit pads as part of the casting process.