UFC President Dana White made a huge announcement today and it had nothing to do with tomorrow’s UFC 167 event.
White, a guest on “The Fighter & The Kid” Podcast, made it known that he intends to add another Women’s division in the near future. As recent as two years ago White said that women would never fight in the UFC and we all know that he’s since gone away from that position. Ronda Rousey is arguably the biggest star in the UFC and women have even headlined a major event for the promotion.
White has always been about the money. He’ll check his pride at the door if it means doing what is best for the UFC and MMA.
Dana made it clear that the new division would be at 115 pounds. Which is perfect for women that are a bit too small to fight at the current 135 pound division.
What is odd though is the choice to get lighter instead of heavier. Lighter usually means less knockouts, which tend to sell the most & attract the most casual fans. The UFC’s Women’s division has seen a surge in popularity without an abundance of KO finishes up to this point but the fans will soon want to see an evolution in the division.
The success of Rousey both in and out of the ring has carried the division. The UFC has yet to test how it does on a large stage without the champ’s name on the posters. Let’s be real, the fact that Rousey is attractive allows her to reach a larger demographic than the average fighter.
The 115 pound MMA division certainly has some eye candy (As seen above) and I’m sure the UFC will do everything to promote these girls based on their fighting abilities and their looks.
What may have been best for the sport outside of the cage seems to have conflicted with what is best in the Octagon. The women at 115 pounds are talented but the best match ups would’ve been in higher weight classes.
For example, the match that everyone wants to see is between current champion Ronda Rousey (135lbs) and Cris Cyborg (145lbs). The UFC doesn’t have a class higher than 135 pounds and Dana White has said that Cyborg would have to cut down to 135 lbs to even be considered.
Cyborg struggles making the 145 lb weight in which she currently fights and has said that she’d be too sapped to perform in the fight. A 145 lb weight class would’ve allowed Rousey to move up to challenge Cyborg and possibly hold a belt in 2 divisions, which has only been done twice in UFC history.
A Cyborg vs Rousey fight could headline a PPV and would surely rank amongst the top 3 fights in terms of profit next year. The truth is though Cyborg is an actual threat to Rousey and her masculine features aren’t as marketable as the face of the women’s promotion.
Thus, the UFC has traded in cage KOs for out of the cage magazine sales.