Dana White delivered unexpected news during an interview on ‘The Fighter & The Kid’ podcast today hosted by Bryan Callen and Brendan Schaub, revealing that the UFC has plans to bring in another woman’s division to their roster.
“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 said.
When questioned further he revealed it would be a 115lb strawweight division.
This is certainly surprising news in that White had until recently been suggesting that they could still be years away from adding another female division.
It seems that the ladies who currently compete in the UFC and on the latest season of TUF have done a good job of convincing the UFC president that they belong in the Octagon as much as the guys through their performances, and they’ve generally been well received by fans so far so it’s a decision that makes sense.
Amongst some of the more familiar names currently plying their trade at 115lbs are a string of Invicta FC stars like current strawweight champion Carla Esparza, Felice Herrig, Rose Namajunas and Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood.
Former Bellator fighter Jessica Aguilar is another major player in the division while it wouldn’t be surprising if fighters from either lower or higher divisions move to feature in the new division with former Bellator strawweight champion Zoila Frausto Gurgel, who now fights at 125lbs, being an obvious example, while perhaps even current UFC fighters like Rosie Sexton who’s been fighting above her natural weight class could be tempted down.
Today’s announcement has lead to fears that all-female promotion Invicta FC could now be in danger of collapsing, but their CEO Shannon Knapp has since released as statement confirming that they remain committed to the sport.
“I think it’s a testament to how well Invicta is doing, and I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve managed to accomplish for the women in the sport. We’ve just begun our work, and we want to keep making a difference. There’s going to be a demand for more talent. I plan to give them a home where new strawweight competitors can be built up. This doesn’t mean the end of anything. Honestly, this is just the beginning.”
Check out the full podcast with Dana White below.