“We’re just working on it,” White told MMAjunkie of when the 115-pound division will debut. “I really don’t have any details yet, but we’re interested in it and trying to figure out how to do it.”
With the women’s bantamweight division being introduced earlier this year, White previously said another women’s division wouldn’t come along for the foreseeable future. That tone changed this week when White revealed the UFC would introduce a 10th weight class that would feature 115-pound female fighters. When asked what prompted his change of heart, White pointed out the caliber of fighters in the division was the most attractive quality.
“It’s a good division,” White said. “It’s full of talent, and we like it.”
As of now, a majority of the world’s elite strawweight talent is signed to other organizations. The all-female promotion Invicta FC has a wealth of quality fighters that would make a perfect addition to the division when it inevitably comes together. A majority of those fighters could be locked up in exclusive deals, though, which would make signing with the UFC explicitly more difficult.
In the past the UFC has purchased other promotions as a means of obtaining talent, but in this circumstance, White says attempting to buy out Invicta would be a blow to the overall development of women’s MMA.
“We can’t just go out and buy up all these companies and make them go away,” White said. “These companies need to exist. If Invicta went away, it’s an outlet for women to get fights, get experience, get paid – it would not be good if that went away.”
For now, White is focused on hammering out the necessary details for the UFC’s fifth new weight class in just under three years and is eager to create the division and give women in the sport more opportunities.
“I like it,” White said. “I’m working on it.”