UFC acquires Invicta strawweight talent for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20

Photo courtesy of Invicta

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White announced the acquisition of 11 fighters from Invicta FC, including 115-pound female champion Carla Esparza, Felice Herrig and more with the intent of getting its women's strawweight division off to a fast start. The field of females will vie for the first-ever division title on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20.

They're coming ...

Just one week after Invicta FC was forced to take down the pay wall for its online pay-per-view (PPV) because of streaming issues, the all-female mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion has now assigned the contracts of 11 Strawweight standouts to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

During a conference call to promote UFC on Fox 9 this weekend, UFC President Dana White announced that the field of female fighters will take part in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 and compete in the tournament-style format to become UFC's first-ever 115-pound queen pin.

TUF 20, which is set to begin in May 2014, will comprise the first-ever all-female cast in the history of the UFC "reality" show franchise. The new found emphasis on the reality series comes on the heels of a sub par TUF 18 that featured women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and her arch rival Miesha Tate as coaches.

The final five TUF 20 roster spots (show has 16 contestants) will likely be filled in upcoming open tryouts.

Don't bank on the show being coached by women, too, though, according to White (via MMAFighting.com):

"The landscape changes quickly. We'll figure out who will coach them as we get closer to the date. More than likely it will probably be men, but it could be women."

In addition White revealed the names of the women coming over from Invicta, including current Invicta champion Carla Esparza, Alex Chambers, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Juiliana Lima, Rose Namajunas, Tecia Torres, Paige Van Zant and Joanne Caldwerood.

With Invicta's recent issues, it may seem to some as if the independent promotion is attempting to cut losses. However, White emphasized this is not the case and that the Zuffa-owned company has no interest in purchasing Invicta.

He cited the differences with UFC purchases in the past such as with Strikeforce and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), saying those companies were on their way out.

Invicta, on the other hand, is a different story:

"When we've gone in and acquired companies, they were companies that were dying. They were in the hole millions and millions of dollars. The guys who invested in it needed to be rescued and we saw value in the companies. Those were the companies we purchased. Invicta is an up-and-coming organization that deals in just women. Buying it wouldn't do the sport any good or wouldn't do anybody any good. There's no sense in buying a company that is still growing and still prospering."

Tentatively, FOX Sports 1 would begin taping TUF 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the second quarter of 2014, putting the strawweight female fighters on track to crack the Octagon mid-year.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker