The UFC Adds Strawweight Division, TUF 20 To Determine First Champion

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People were wondering if the UFC would ever add another women’s weight division, those questions were answered today. The UFC announced that Invicta Fight Chmapionships has assigned the contracts of 11 women’s strawweight (115 pounds) competitors to the UFC. Terms of the assignment were not disclosed.

The 11 fighters added were Invicta Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Joanne Calderwood, Tecia Torres, Rose Namajunas, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Alex Chambers, Julianna Lima, and Paige Van Zant.

The UFC also stated the 11 fighters and the five more that will be added during an open tryout and that will compromise the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter. The winner of the show will become the inaugural UFC Strawweight Champion.

The season will be taped in May, with the season to air in September on Fox Sports 1. Coaches haven’t been decided yet at this time.

“The women’s 135-pound division in the UFC has been amazing and we know there are a ton of talented women’s mixed martial artists out there,” UFC president Dana White said. “Now, you’ll see even more great women’s bouts in the UFC with the addition of the 115-pound division. We’re excited to crown the first-ever UFC women’s strawweight champion in 2014 after a historic season of The Ultimate Fighter.”

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Invicta Fighting Championships 7 Preview

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Invicta Fighting Championships returns for the first time in about five months with their seventh event. The show takes place on Saturday from the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo. The card features three title fights including the main event of Barb Honchak defending her Invicta flyweight title against Leslie Smith. The co-feature will have Invicta FC strawweight champion Carla Esparza will defend her belt against undefeated Brazilian superstar Claudia Gadelha.

Steve was joined by ESPNChicago.com MMA Analyst Ray Flores, who will be handling the ring announcing for the event. Flores and Steve preview the entire card, the future of Invicta, Ronda Rousey and more.

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You can follow Ray on Twitter @RayFlores86.

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