After Brief Delay, Addition of Women’s Flyweight Division to UFC Now Official

By Tristen Critchfield May 9, 2017
A little less than one week after the UFC announced and then retracted its announcement unveiling the women’s flyweight division, the weight class now has an official spot within the Las Vegas-based promotion.

“Women’s fighting has become very popular,” UFC President Dana White told espnW on Tuesday. “I waited for a while to pull the trigger on this division, and I think it’s time. I’m ready to do it now.”

Last Wednesday the UFC issued a release stating that “The Ultimate Fighter 26” would mark the debut of the 125-pound division and that an inaugural champion would be crowned at the conclusion of the season. However, White then said that the announcement was sent in error and that the UFC was only considering the addition of the division.

It remains unclear as to why the UFC delayed the announcement by only a few days.

“It’s an idea that we’ve been tossing back and forth and we were conceptualizing. And frankly, it just came out a little early,” UFC PR representative Matt Radmanovich said during a recent conference call. “We haven’t confirmed it. We have no firm ideas on it. We’re just kind of waiting and seeing, and it was an idea that was put to paper but that just got out too early.”

As previously announced, UFC will hold a casting call on May 23 in Las Vegas open to female flyweights between ages of 21 to 34 with a winning professional record. “TUF 26” will also be open to women currently on the roster who are capable of making 125 pounds over the course of the season. “TUF 26” will begin filming in July and will premiere on Fox Sports 1 later this year.

Flyweight will join strawweight, bantamweight and featherweight as the fourth female division in the UFC.

"There are a lot of 125-pound women out there fighting already," White told espnW. "Now they'll get the opportunity to fight in the UFC. We'll have four women's divisions, and as far as I'm concerned we can't have enough."

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