UFC announces plans for women's 125-pound division

UFC announces plans for women's 125-pound division

Season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter will follow a similar format to Season 20, which saw the introduction of the 115lb Strawweight division and saw Carla Esparza take the belt and become the division's first champion.

Women's flyweight would be the UFC's 12th weight class, and its fourth women's division.

Despite not having an official division at flyweight, the UFC has previously held one contest between female 125-pound fighters.

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A few hours after announcing "The Ultimate Fighter 26" would feature an all-female flyweight cast, with the tournament's victor being crowned the UFC's inaugural 125-pound champion, UFC president Dana White told Yahoo!

The UFC began promoting women's fights in early 2013, and the rise in popularity of women's mixed martial arts was largely due to former 135-pound bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

Of note, any current UFC fighter that can successfully make 125 pounds is also eligible to tryout for the season.

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Season 30 tryouts will commence on May 30th at the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas for fighters aged between 21 - 34 with a winning three fight record. However, UFC President Dana White later told Yahoo Sports that the release was sent in error and the promotion had not finalized the addition of a 125-pound female weight class.

It's welcome news for the sport in general, as many female athletes in the UFC have been forced to choose between fighting as an undersized 135-pound bantamweight or a shrunken 115-pound strawweight.

Last June, the UFC staged its first stand-alone flyweight fight last June, when Joanne Calderwood beat Valerie Letourneau by third-round stoppage.

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