Less than 24 hours after announcing a women’s flyweight champion would be crowned during the next run of The Ultimate Fighter, UFC officials are putting the idea back in the box.
The UFC on Wednesday issued a news release, putting out a call for female fighters to try out for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. The call was open to any 125-pound female fighter between the ages of 21 and 34 with a winning record and at least three professional fights, including current UFC fighters that could make the weight.
The only problem is that it appears that news release wasn’t yet ready for prime time.
When Yahoo Sports contacted UFC president Dana White for comment on the decision, he said the news release announcing the upcoming season was sent in error and that it hadn’t been finalized.
On a UFC 211 conference call on Thursday, Mark Radmanovich, director of international communications, confirmed as much, saying, “It’s an idea that we’ve been tossing back and forth and we were conceptualizing. Frankly, it just came out a little early. We haven’t confirmed it. We have no firm ideas on it. We’re just kind of waiting and seeing. It’s an idea that got put to paper, but just got out too early.”
The initial announcement was one that was meant with an overall positive response, as there are several athletes on the women’s side of the sport that have been calling for a 125-pound division for years. The UFC currently has women’s divisions at 115 pounds, 135 pounds, and 145 pounds, although the featherweight division is floundering in its initial stages with a lack of athlete signings at 145 pounds.
UFC officials have not indicated when they will make a decision on whether or not to move forward with the women’s 125-pound class. They’ll need to make a decision soon, however, as The Ultimate Fighter 26 open tryouts are slated for May 23, which gives little time for fighters considering trying out to make travel arrangements.