UPDATE: According to a report from MMAFighting.com, Dana White communicated to a few reporters that the official press release was premature. While the premise for TUF 26 is indeed to introduce women’s flyweights, there are still some things to be worked out and the press release was sent in error on Wednesday.
There will no longer be a 20-pound gap between the two most prominent women’s divisions in the UFC.
The promotion has announced via press release that season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter will crown a new flyweight champion while also adding the 125-pound division.
On Tuesday, May 23 in Las Vegas, an open casting call will take place to find contestants for the season. Fighters must be between the ages of 21-34 with a winning record and a minimum of three professional fights. Fighters wishing to fill out an application for tryouts can do so here: http://www.ufc.com/TUF26
Fighters currently on the UFC roster who can make the 125-pound limit throughout the duration of the season are also invited to join, creating an opportunity for strawweight or bantamweight competitors who were calling for the flyweight division under the UFC banner.
UFC bantamweight Jessica Eye and UFC strawweight Joanne “Jojo” Calderwood have been vocal in the past along with others about their desires for the promotion to add a flyweight division. The 20-pound gap between strawweight and bantamweight classes forced some fighters to fight at a higher weight class than desired or suffer a tough weight cut that affected performances on fight night.
Fuck ya @ufc on creating a flyweight division !! Yesssssss
— Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) May 4, 2017
— Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) May 4, 2017
— Carla Esparza (@CarlaEsparza1) May 4, 2017
With the addition of flyweights, the UFC will now have a ten-pound gap between each weight class: 115-pounds, 125-pounds, 135-pounds, and 145-pounds.
The season will begin filming in July and air on FS1 later in 2017. TUF 26 was originally slated for women’s strawweight and bantamweights along with male middleweights. The UFC has decided to cancel those casting calls and instead fill the gap between strawweight and bantamweights for the female fighters.
At the conclusion of the season, the winner of the finale will be crowned the first ever Women’s UFC Flyweight Champion.
Stay tuned for more details surrounding The Ultimate Fighter Season 26 as they become available.
Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”
MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.
Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.
Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?
I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.
Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?
I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened. They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.
Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?
I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.
It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 15, 2017
Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?
I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 16, 2017
I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.
Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!
Darren Till vs Stephen Thompson set for February 24th in England
Wow! Nobody could have expected this news this morning. Dana White has stated he is moving the UFC Fight Night card in Orlando, Florida to the UK so rising star Darren Till (16-0-1) can face Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (14-2-1) in his backyard.
According to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times, Dana White revealed the news during a Q&A in Santa Monica, California.
Dana White says he’s moving his UFC card from Orlando, moving it to England so popular Darren Till can fight @WonderboyMMA
— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017
Logistically this fight has its problems. White didn’t state that the fight was scheduled to take place in Liverpool, I assume that is plan A for the UFC though. However, on the 24th the Echo Arena in Liverpool is booked by the UK MMA promotion, Cage Warriors.
Although White may be able to throw some money at the promotion, it is unlikely they’ll budge. Another possibility is to co-promote an event with Cage Warriors, but that’s even more unlikely, even though the concept is a great one.
The fight would not make sense in another UK city like Glasgow, Birmingham or Newcastle. Making the fight is strange if it’s unable to be in Liverpool, or at the top of the UFC London card.
The event would be three weeks before UFC London, which is unheard of for events over in Europe. Normally England would be lucky to get two events in a year, let alone a month. Which makes you think it will either be one or the other. European cards are never typically stacked and having two in the space of three weeks in one country would eat into the quality on show in each card.
Could this be another case of Dana White talking too soon, or are we set for two mega UFC fights in the space of three weeks in the UK. We’ll find out soon enough.
Watch: Bellator 185 Prelims
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Complete Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:
Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)
Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez
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