Published: Thu, May 04, 2017
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Pump the brakes: TUF 26 with women's flyweight debut not official yet

Pump the brakes: TUF 26 with women's flyweight debut not official yet

Womens Strawweight fighter Paige VanZant gets in a punch while bracing for another from Rose Namajunas during the UFC Fight Night 80 at The Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan on Thursday, December 10, 2015.

The 125-pound division would be the second female weight class added to the UFC in 2017.

The one glaring hole on the UFC's roster for the last several years has been the absence of a women's flyweight division.

The promotion sent a news release announcing that the upcoming 26th season of TUF will feature female flyweights for the first time, with an inaugural champion crowned at the end of the series. When Yahoo Sports contacted UFC president Dana White for comment on the decision, he said the news release announcing the upcoming season was sent in error and that it hadn't been finalized.

The UFC began promoting women's fights in early 2013, and the rise in popularity of women's mixed martial arts was largely due to former 135-pound bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

Women's fighters on the current UFC roster will also be eligible to participate in the show as long as they are able to consistently make 125-pounds throughout the season.

The open casting call is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 23 at 8 a.m. PT inside Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Invicta Fighting Championships, an all-women's promotional company with ties to the UFC, has five women's weight classes, including a 105-pound atomweight division.

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