The UFC is expanding once again as the promotion prepares to launch a 115-pound women’s division.
President Dana White, who once said that women would never fight in the Octagon, revealed Friday that the company is working on adding a strawweight class (106 to 115 pounds).
“I’ll give you guys something nobody knows yet,” White said on FoxSports.com’s The Fighter & The Kid podcast. “We’re actually working on bringing in another division for the women, which I said would never happen for a long time.”
The UFC added a women’s bantamweight division (135 pounds) last November, when Ronda Rousey became the first female to sign with the promotion. The bantamweight champion and opponent Liz Carmouche made history in February when they fought in the UFC first-ever women’s match. Rousey defended her title by defeating Carmouche with an armbar submission, her signature move, in the first round.
After Bellator dissolved its women’s division in August, Jessica “Evil” Eye — one of the promotion’s three remaining female fighters — signed with the UFC. Eye made her promotional debut against Sarah Kaufman at UFC 166 in October, winning the match by split decision. The women’s bantamweight division currently consists of 13 fighters.
Dana White didn’t say which fighters the UFC was pursuing for its strawweight division, but he explained that the decision was directly related to the recent success of women on this season of The Ultimate Fighter.
“When the women fight (on TUF), they’re outrating the men by 44-percent,” he said. “Never in a million years did I think it would take off the way it has.”
Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate coach this season of The Ultimate Fighter, the first time women have served as coaches and the first time men and women have competed together. The season debuted on September 4, and the finale will take place November 30 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.