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The Wiseman Report – We have the fighters but where are the fights?

Last week, I put forward a plea for The Ultimate Invicta Fighter last week.

I then thought about all the female fighters who fought on TUF. We’re heading into our third female season, but where are the ladies we’ve already come to know? Isn’t the point of TUF to add more fighters, find more talent, for a particular weight class? How many women do we need for more consistent fights?

How many?

UFC 195
Justine Kish and Nina Ansaroff at UFC 195.

According to the numbers, we currently have 27 listed fighters listed in the UFC  women’s bantamweight division, while we have 33 listed for the strawweight division. That’s not a lot, but lets compare. In the heavyweight division we have 40 listed, while we only have 43 listed in the light-heavyweight division. Therefore, the numbers are there for more than the number of female fights we are seeing.

Invicta FC 15
Livia Renata Souza and Deanna Bennett at Invicta FC 15. Courtesy Scott Hirano Photography/Invicta FC.

If we look at the first season to help build the 135 division, most of those ladies haven’t been seen outside of once or twice since they left the house. Other’s have been cut are are either with Invicta or out of WMMA all together.

Did TUF serve it’s purpose there?

TUF 20
Carla Esparza takes a photo with her team after submitting Rose Namajunas in the third round and becomes the first UFC women’s srawwieght champion during The Ultimate Fighter Finale event inside the Pearl concert theater at the Palms Casino Resort on December 12, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The strawweight division was built around TUF, so the entire division was formed that season. However, the majority of those ladies are only fighting once a year, if that. Of course, there are favourites, and they may fight more, for example Paige VanZant fought three times in 2015 while just bursting onto the scene.

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Rose Namajunas punches Paige VanZant in their women’s strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on December 10, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

What’s my point? Even allowing for injuries, we have the fighters for more female fights, but for some reason the matchups are not happening. Is it because society still isn’t behind it 100%? It’s not entertaining? That can’t be right because some of the most boring fights I’ve ever watched have been the heavyweights. Are we building fights purely around personalities now? Is that where we’ve gone? We have enough women to have at least one female fight on each card, women would be fighting more consistently and getting more money, therefore able to do WMMA full-time. Fighting full-time means getting better, which is what every fighter wants. We are losing the few females we have, and are going to continue to lose women, if we don’t have more fights lined up.

Invicta FC 15
Courtesy Scott Hirano Photography/Invicta FC.

If the UFC has too many fighters for more consistent matchups, then bring it on Invicta FC. We need more than three or four Invicta cards in 2016. This is urgent! It’s one thing to have a female personality and look to start things, but when it comes to being able to make a living and thus keeping these fighters, we need to keep them active.

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Courtesy Esther Lin/Invicta FC.

We have the female fighters, we just need the venue. Have you really made it, made your dream come true, if you are only fighting once a year and still needing another job? My message is for the matchmakers, to keep WMMA going, we need to put on consistent opportunities for women to fight.

@CasMMA365

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