UFC could be set to introduce women’s atomweight division along with new TV deal

The UFC could be set to introduce a women’s 105-pound atomweight division within the next year along with a joint TV deal with ESPN and NBC. The news was first reported by Terez Owens, later picked up by Forbes and 411Mania.

Seo Hee Ham is currently the number-one ranked atomweight fighter in the world.

The UFC are said to be close to inking a deal with both ESPN and NBC and are also planning on a number of further changes. New weight classes, the removal of The Ultimate Fighter and a lighter pay-per-view schedule are among the flagship changes mentioned.

The changes mentioned are as follows:
– 6 PPVs per year.
– The Ultimate Fighter replaced by the Contender Series.
– Introduction of a men’s 165lbs and women’s 105lbs weight class.
– ESPN and NBC to have exclusivity on certain fighters.
– ESPN and NBC paying to pay for production.

The atomweight division would certainly be an exciting addition to the UFC. The weight-class is constantly growing with the women putting on the most exciting fights on their respective cards. Some of the division’s most popular talents include Jinh Yu Frey, Ashley Cummins, Seo Hee Ham, Herica Tiburcio and Amber Brown. Current UFC strawweights, Michelle Waterson and Jessica Penne, where two of the division’s top stars before signing to the organization’s strawweight division.

WMMA Atomweight World Rankings

Fight fans, are you excited about the UFC’s potential new changes? Let us know in the comments section below.

Noah

8 comments

  1. Certainly excited about the addition of the atomweight division. It’s most unfortunate that some of the smaller girls have had to fight bigger girls due to the lack of options.

    And I certainly don’t mind fewer PPV’s as long as it doesn’t mean fewer overall events.

    I am somewhat surprised that they’re doing away with the TUF shows as I felt, if done correctly (the one for flyweight had far too little advance notice for the fighters, especially the foreign based ones), they were an excellent avenue for introducing new (not so well known) fighters.

    What I am most concerned about is the “exclusivity on certain fighters” by ESPN and NBC. I’d certainly want to hear how that would work. As long as the ESPN fighters could fight the NBC fighters, I probably wouldn’t mind it.

  2. 8-9 PPV’s a year is optimal if you ask me….. institute a rule that when you agree to a fight you must be within 20-25 lbs of the weight class your fighting in. It would be healthier for the fighters to not be so stressed to loose the weight.

  3. I agree that the atom weight division would be great, but I really wish that they would focus on filling up the vacant featherweight division

    1. With whom? Ediane Gomes is reported to be the #1 contender in Invicta, the same Gomes that previously lost to Invicta BW’s. They’re trying to build the FW division themselves and the ladies at Bellator seem content there. Unfortunately, even if you were able to gather all the top 20 FW’s throughout the world under one UFC banner it would still be a woefully thin division. On the other hand, atomweight is replete with excellent fighters. The biggest issue is whether the UFC could draw them from their present organizations.

  4. Doing away with The Ultimate Fighter? The show that brought the UFC to the notice of the world? The first Ultimate Fighter finale which is considered the greatest fight in the history of the company? Yeah, smart idea to get rid of that

    1. I’ve read that they’re thinking of doing the Contender Series instead of TUF from now on! Should be interesting…TUF was always a great way to get to know fighter’s and coach personalities and I felt like the reality TV aspect attracted non-traditional MMA fans!

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