The UFC has passed the honeymoon stage of their women’s divisions and is still trying to figure out how best to serve them.
With the growing pains comes complaints from the WMMA community about frequency of fights and how certain fighters have not been signed, while others haven’t.
To gain some prospective let’s break down how the UFC is doing so far by the numbers.
With only one division to build on the past year, the female bantamweights were up against eight male divisions in terms of slots for fights.
44: Total number of female fights currently under the UFC banner. The number includes the signed bantamweights, TUF 20 participants, and the strawweights under UFC contract yet to debut.
24: Current number of signed females at 135. They take up 5% of the UFC roster as a whole, the lowest of any active weight class male or female.
23: Number of female matches on UFC cards so far (not including “unofficial” TUF 18 tv show bouts). Out of these 23, Liz Carmouche has the most with 4 (currently 1-3 in the UFC), with champion Ronda Rousey (3-0 UFC), Alexis Davis (3-0 UFC), Jessica Andrade (2-1 UFC) and Miesha Tate (1-2) tied for second.
22: InvictaFC vets that are now under the UFC banner. 11 are bantamweights, 11 are starwweights.
9: Female fights that had finishes at UFC events. The only 2 submissions were armbars by the champion Ronda Rousey. The rest were TKO finishes. The only person to have 2 TKO finishes in the UFC is Amanda Nunes.
8: Strawweights already in the TUF 20 house. We are awaiting eight more names to be announced. If this will be before or after the taping begins is anyone’s guess.
8: Countries represented in the female divisions. This includes the TUF 20 participants so far announced. This may increase by two if Aisling Daly (Ireland) and Helena Harper (England) are added to the show. In comparison, Invicta has 11 countries represented on their roster.
7: Number of fights so far this year. This is out pacing the first 6 months the UFC had female fights (four). The second half of the year will have more bouts due to the TUF 20 finale. In comparison of the guys, they were 6% of the fights so far this year.
6: Number of fighters looking for their second UFC fight. Two just fought this past weekend (Valerie Latourneau and Elizabeth Phillips) and probably won’t be eligible for a few months due to medical suspensions. Julianna Pena isn’t expected back until early next year. Cat Zingano and Jessica Rakoczy are expected to return within the next two months. Leslie Smith will have her second UFC bout against Jessamyn Duke in July.
5: Fighters that are no longer on the roster. Four were cut (Rosi Sexton, Sheila Gaff, Roxanne Modafferi, and Peggy Morgan), and Julie Kedzie officially retired from competition.
5: Bantamweights yet to debut. Three have fights; Shayna Baszler, Sarah Moras, and Alexis Defresne; with the Russian Milena Dudieva and Alexandra Albu still in the wings. Albu signed last year but we have yet to hear anything from her about her UFC status.
4: Strawweight that are technically signed directly to the UFC. Two will fight in the first ever 115 match in the octagon (Claudia Gadelha vs. Tina Lähdemäki) with Juliana Lima and Paige VanZant signed but not posted on the official roster.
4: Announced UFC fights for July. This most notable is Ronda Rousey defending her belt against Alexis Davis July 5 in Las Vegas.