The UFC is looking to build a stable of legitimate fighters to form the women’s flyweight division. Their efforts were encouraged by a showing of 46 athletes at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Tuesday, according to MMA Junkie.
The participants in the tryout were vying for the opportunity to appear in the upcoming season 26 of the popular reality of TV show “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Hopefuls were paired into groups and tasked with a two-minute grappling session before hitting the mitts. The entirety of the tryout was watched and proctored by Dana White, as well as matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard, and members of “The Ultimate Fighter” production staff.
Filming for the show will begin in July of 2017, and White appears hopeful that the division will field competitive, marketable fighters.
“In this division, I think you’re going to see a lot of people from (115 pounds) and (135) jump to (125),” White said. “We’re pretty confident that we’re going to have a packed division. … I think there are enough talented women to make three good divisions.”
The format of the tournament is yet to be announced. However, the winner of the tournament will be named as the first UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion. It is not yet known who will appear as the coaches for the upcoming season.
Excitement for the series has only grown over time. Now in its 26th edition, The Ultimate Fighter isn’t showing any signs of slowing down after Tuesday’s encouraging showing.