Sean O’Malley has an idea.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) introduced women to its roster at UFC 157 in Feb. 2013 with a Bantamweight title tilt between Strikeforce alumnus, Ronda Rousey, and Liz Carmouche. Since then, the promotion continued to break barriers for equality in mixed martial arts (MMA) and added three divisions around 135 pounds.
Despite UFC events featuring men and women together throughout the 10-year span, O’Malley is fascinated to see if things were separated.
“What if there was a ‘WUFC?’” O’Malley asked on the Timbo & Sugar Show. “What if they had their own program? Would it last? Would they be able to sell pay-per-views? Would it sell out arenas? It’s still the UFC, it’s still Dana, it’s still the UFC pushing these fights and promoting them ... would it last?
“We’re not saying they’re not good,” he continued. “We’re talking from a pure entertainment point of view. Look at the WNBA, look at the NBA. There is a few girls fights that are very entertaining. There is a few. I think you should buy every f—king pay-per-view the girls fight on if you support them that much.
“WNBA, ‘WUFC,’ I’d like it,” he concluded. “I think it’d be interesting. We’re not talking skill. They’re very, very skilled. I’m talking from a pure entertainment perspective. Like, ‘I can’t f—king wait for this fight.’”
In the women’s decade-long run inside the Octagon, they’ve never received a fully dedicated card. However, The Ultimate Fighter 20 (TUF) Finale in Dec. 2014 held a record seven fights at Strawweight, closing out the season that featured the division and crowned an inaugural champion. UFC 193 in Nov. 2015 was another big moment, which was headlined by title fights at Bantamweight and Strawweight, where the aforementioned Rousey was famously dethroned by Holly Holm in the main event.
O’Malley will next look to capture his first world title when challenging for Aljamain Sterling’s Bantamweight crown at UFC 292 on Aug. 19, 2023. In the co-main event, the Strawweight title is on the line when the champion, Zhang Weili, looks to fend off Brazil’s Amanda Lemos.
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