Women’s mixed martial arts continues to grow from strength-to-strength, and in 2014 the trend will continue with the announcement that the UFC is set to launch the women’s 115 pound weight class. In addition, the division will be premiered in an all-women’s series of The Ultimate Fighter reality show — and will consist of 11 now former Invicta FC fighters.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement that the Ultimate Fighting Championship have acquired 11 Invicta FC, and they will compete against each other in the first all-women’s Ultimate Fighter Series to crown the inaugural UFC strawweight champion. It comes on the heels of White admitting that they were interested in introducing the 115 pound weight class — albeit he didn’t know how soon.
Well, it didn’t take long.
The ‘TUF 20’ series is set to begin filming in May 2014. The 11 fighters, and ‘TUF 20’ cast members, signed by the promotion are: Bec Hyatt (5-3), Alex Chambers (4-1), Tecia Torres (4-0), Carla Esparza (9-2), Claudia Gadelha (11-0), Felice Herrig (9-5), Emily Kagan (3-1), Juliana Lima (6-1), Rose Namajunas (2-1), Paige VanZant (3-1) and Joanne Calderwood (8-0).
While it’s not known how this will impact Invicta FC, Dana White firmly ruled out the prospect of buying the promotion — citing that the difference between Invicta and other companies that the UFC have acquired is that the other promotions (Strikeforce, PRIDE) were dying.
“When we’ve gone in and acquired companies, they were companies that were dying,” he said. “They were in the hole millions and millions of dollars. The guys who invested in it needed to be rescued and we saw value in the companies. Those were the companies we purchased. Invicta is an up-and-coming organization that deals in just women. Buying it wouldn’t do the sport any good or wouldn’t do anybody any good. There’s no sense in buying a company that is still growing and still prospering.