The UFC have been mulling over the possibility of this weight class for some time, even putting together a "trial run" fight between Joanne Calderwood and Valerie Letourneau past year. The addition of a flyweight division would give the UFC four female weight classes.
As previously reported, the UFC issued an announcement yesterday saying that the 26th season of The Ultimate Fighter would feature the creation of a new UFC women's flyweight division (125 pounds), and the tournament would crown the first-ever UFC women's flyweight champion. The 135-pound bantamweight class was the first women's division in the UFC, debuting in 2013 with champion Ronda Rousey.
"A new division will be created and a new champion will emerge from the next season of The Ultimate Fighter". The tryouts are also open to current UFC competitors that can make 125 pounds throughout the season.
UFC President Dana White had downplayed the possibility of adding a 125-pound division in recent months, suggesting the promotion wasn't ready to add another group of fighters to its large roster.
How many women in the bantamweight division will put their body through the grueling cut for a chance to become a UFC champion at season's end?
Last June, the UFC staged its first stand-alone flyweight fight last June, when Joanne Calderwood beat Valerie Letourneau by third-round stoppage. The inaugural title fight for that weight class took place between Germaine de Randamie and Holly Holm at UFC 208 in February.