It wasn’t long ago the UFC shrugged off the idea of having women competing inside the Octagon, dismissing the notion based on both a lack of divisional depth and the belief fans wouldn’t buy into it. Of course, the same was true on the men’s side of things regarding some of the smaller weight-classes before the UFC gave them a go. Now, years later, it’s difficult to imagine the organization without 125-155 pound fighters, and in UFC President Dana White’s opinion the same should prove to be true when it comes to the fairer sex’s future.
“If you think about it, when we started this company, we had heavyweights, light heavyweights, middleweights and welterweights. That was it. When we brought in the 155-pound division, everybody was like, ‘This is crazy. They’re too small. Nobody will ever watch.’ The evolution of this sport as it’s continued to grow, we’ve been adding weight classes, and the sport keeps getting bigger,” explained White in a conversation with MMAJunkie. “There are more and more talented guys in all those weight classes. The same thing will happen with the women.”
“I think when you got into the 135-pound division, I knew there were enough fights for a year and a half, two years. You think that after it starts to generate some excitement and interest that other women will pop out of the woodwork,” White concluded. “I think over the next couple of years, we’re really going to see a big boom.”
White also added he envisions opening the UFC’s doors to female fighters from other divisions at some point assuming things continue in the direction they’re currently headed. To date, the UFC has hosted two female fights with each effort earning praise from fans based on the entertainment involved. The company is looking to deepen the talent pool this year thanks to the involvement of women on TUF 18.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY