It has been a long time coming for female fighters to be on “The Ultimate Fighter”, and every fighter who can make 135 are rushing to Vegas Monday for the tryouts. Current rumors are that over 30 fighters will be making the trek to Sin City. We have complied a list of 15 who have confirmed they will be trying out for the historic season, which will be coached by Ronda Rousey and the winner of Saturday night’s match between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano.
Among the veteran fighters:
Tara LaRosa (21-3): The former BoDog champion was considered one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world for a time, and still is on the top of some of the best of all time list. With 12 submissions to her credit and 24 fights under her belt, she has more matches that Tate and Rousey combined. She is the most experienced person trying out.
Shayna Baszler (15-8): The InvictaFC vet and Freestyle Cage Fighting tournament champion has gotten submission in all but one of her wins. The shoot wrestler has been one of the more underrated fighters in the division, and although she is coming off a submission loss, she should have a strong showing. Plus she has an energetic personality for TV.
Roxanne Modafferi (15-10): The K-Grace tournament champion is looking to mount a comeback after a series of losses as of late. Modafferi has notable wins over Marloes Coenen, Vanessa Porto, and Tara LaRosa. Modafferi has changed gyms over to Ground Slam in Japan and is flying in from the orient to try out.
Tonya Evinger (11-6): The former NCAA wrestling standout has been on a roll with a three fight win streak. She has a notable win over UFC signee Julie Kedzie and took Sara McMann the distance.
Three of the CFA featherweight semi-finalists will be trying out:
Ashlee Evans-Smith (1-0): Smith made her pro debut in the CFA tournament, avenging an amateur loss to Tori Adams. She went 4-3 as an ammy at featherweight, so a drop in weight might see more success for her.
Peggy Morgan (2-0): Having yet to taste defeat as an ammy or pro, Morgan is currently ranked #8 in the 145 division. The semi-finalist will be making her first drop to 135 if she gets on the show.
Allanna Jones (2-1): Jones was planning on making the drop to 135 before getting the call for the CFA tournement. She got a win over tournament favorite Kelsey De Santis and went 6-2 as an ammy.
Among the InvictaFC vets:
Jessamyn Duke (2-1): Having had two straight finishes to start off her pro career, she is coming off a controversial KO loss to Miriam Nakamoto this month at InvictaFC 5. Duke held the AAMMA and Tuff-n-uff titles, going 5-2 as an ammy.
Sarah Moras (3-1): The Canadian standout has only one blemish in her career, a decision loss to Raquel Pennington. Trained under UFC signee Rosi Sexton, Moras has finished her opponents in all of her wins. (You can watch her audition video here)
Jocelyn Lybarger (1-0): Having have recently helped Miesha Tate train for her upcoming bout, Lybarger made her pro debut last year at InvictaFC 2, getting the unanimous decision over Cheryl Chan.
Others who are trying out:
Colleen Schneider (4-4): The current Super Fight League flyweight champion will be making her way back to bantamweight for the tryouts. Schneider has won her past three bouts at SFL with finishes. She is currently training at Syndicate MMA in Vegas with DEEP champ Amanda Lucas.
Juliana Pena (4-2): Going 4-0 in her first pro bouts, Pena has been helping Miesha Tate train for her bout this weekend. With three submissions and a TKO to her credit as a pro, she is looking to make a comeback after two losses.
Lauren Howarth (1-0): The British prosepct, like Moras, is trained under Rosi Sexton. She has yet to taste defeat in the UK, with a submission and a TKO to her credit.
Norma Center (1-0): Center made her pro debut as a last minute replacement last month, getting a decision win over ammy standout Rachel Cummins. Training out of Jackson’s MMA, she is teammates with UFC signee Julie Kedzie and fellow TUF tryout hopeful Tara LaRosa.
Valérie Létourneau (4-3): The Canadian is coming off a split decision loss to Claudia Gadelha after finishing her last three opponents.
DeAnna Bennett (2-0): Having yet to taste defeat in her pro or ammy career, Bennett defeated Julianna Pena by decision this past February in her home state of Utah.
Among those who have confirmed that they are NOT going is:
- Vanessa Mariscal (currently injured and will return in the fall)
- Leslie Smith (stated she doesn’t want to be coached by someone she could face later)
- Miriam Nakamoto (stated she doesn’t want to do “the reality show thing” again)
- Sarah D’Alellio (has a great report with InvictaFC and isn’t interested)
There are several unconfirmed including InvictaFC 5 winner Lauren Taylor and Texan Jennifer Scott. We suspect that more will be coming to tryouts that haven’t stated their intentions on doing so.
More will be known Monday when the tryouts start.