With the success of Tuff-n-uff’s season 18 with Miesha Tate and champion Ronda Rousey coaching the first cast of female fighters, the UFC and Fox Sports 1 took no time to announce an all female season to launch their new female strawweights.
According to the press release, the UFC has aquired 11 contracts from Invicta of some of their top strawweights. This list includes:
- Carla Esparza (9-2) – InvictaFC champion
- Claudia Gadelha (11-0)
- Felice Herrig (9-5)
- Joanne Calderwood (8-0)
- Tecia Torres (4-0)
- Rose Namajunas (2-1)
- Bec Hyatt (5-2)
- Emily Kagan (3-1)
- Alex Chambers (4-1)
- Julianna Lima (6-1)
- Paige Van Zant (3-1)
Update: Dana White told MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani the fighters will be getting money before the show even starts. All but Carla Esparza will receive $32,000 up front before taping, with the former Invicta champ Esparza getting $40,000.
InvictaFC president Shannon Knapp told Wombat Sports the strawweight title is vacant and “It will be up for grabs for any /all of the new strawweights.”
They are also doing tryouts for the final 5 sports sometime in the next few months, the the season starting to taping in May. The winner of the season is not only crowned “The Ultimate Fighter” but will also the be inaugural strawweight champion.
If the season follows a similiar pattern to the first female TUF season, tryouts would should be around late March or early April.