(Well, it was fun while it lasted. / Photo via InvictaFC)
On Wednesday evening, the UFC officially announced the launch of its 115-pound women’s division, after acquiring the contracts of 11 top strawweight fighters from Invicta FC: Carla Esparza, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Joanne Calderwood, Tecia Torres, Rose Namajunas, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Alex Chambers, Juliana Lima, and Paige Van Zant.
Those fighters (along with five more strawweights to be named later) will compete on the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, which begins filming in May 2014. The winner of the season will become the UFC’s inaugural strawweight champion. Coaches for the season haven’t been named yet.
As for Invicta FC, company president Shannon Knapp has put on a happy face and explained that Invicta’s strawweight division will carry on without its 11 best fighters, which seems kind of depressing. But her promotion has had a good working relationship with the UFC since the beginning, and that’s not going to change.
At this point, you probably have a lot of burning questions racing through your heads, so we’ve put together a helpful FAQ to answer some of the major ones…
Q: Does this mean that CagePotato’s sponsorship of Rose Namajunas is effectively over?
A: Yeah, pretty much. But we wish Rose the best with the bigger, fancier sponsors that she’ll be snapping up next year. JUST TREAT HER RIGHT, BRO.
Q: I haven’t watched TUF since the Brock Lesnar season. (Chicken shit, chicken salad, good times.) Why can’t the UFC just start putting these women on upcoming fight cards? Like, they could re-book Gadelha vs. Esparza for the inaugural strawweight title on a UFC on FOX 1 show or something. You know what I mean?