The Ultimate Fighter is making history this season when sixteen women duke it out for the inaugural UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship. This is unique for a few different reasons, the first being that it will be the first time a champion is crowned and the second being the fact it’s all women. It is certainly a season to look forward to when it airs later tonight. There has been a lot of talk coming from the coaches and from UFC President Dana White who claims that one of the fighters it the next Ronda Rousey. Let’s view some crucial points:
While the coaches of the season will act more like guides to the veteran fighters on the show, some of the younger fighters can still learn from them. Coaches Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez are certainly at the top of the lightweight division. In addition they both bring good coaching staffs who work with their camps regularly. Pettis brings with him Duke Roufus, the head coach and founder of the Roufusport fight team. Melendez on the other hand brings with him his Gracie Fighter teammates in Jake Shields and Nate Diaz along with coaches Anucha Chayaisen and Josh Berkovic.
The members of the respective teams have already been released and looking at it, White’s statement that “half the women hate each other” makes sense along team member lines. On Team Pettis the participants are as follows: Carla Esparza, Alex Chambers, Felice Herrig, Joanne Calderwood, Aisling Daly, Justine Kish, Randa Markos, and Jessica Penne. Without a doubt favorites on this team are Esparza and Herrig. Other veterans on the team include Penne, Calderwood, and Penne. There is supposedly rumor that Herrig got into an onset scuffle with a possible Team Melendez member on the first day.
On Team Melendez the team members are as follows: Bec Rawlings, Emily Kagan, Rose Namajunas, Tecia Torres, Heather Jo Clark, Lisa Ellis, Angela Hill, and Angela Magana. Favorites on Team Melendez are Namajunas and Torres. Other veterans include Rawlings, and Ellis. Supposedly Clark is the fellow participant that Herrig got into the altercation with, but that has yet to be confirmed. Either way the season has some high expectations, with White highly promoting it and with Lorenzo Fertitta watching all fights of the season for the first time since season 1, there’s no doubt that every episode will be a must see.