“We have to build this [female bantamweight] division the right way and we have a lot of work still to do. That’s going to take some time, and when we get it to where we want it to be, then I think we can talk about adding another division.” – Dana White, UFC President
What a turn of events from only a short time ago Dana White said that women would never fight in the UFC. Now not only are women fighting in the UFC, fans might even see a second female division sooner than they might have originally anticipated. So what is motivating the UFC to look into developing a second women’s division? Well, lets take a look at the ratings of The Ultimate Fighter 18.
The two men’s fights on The Ultimate Fighter 18 averaged 640,000 viewers per week. The three women’s fights have a 20 percent increase in ratings with an average of 791,000 viewers per week.
“When Christy Martin was fighting on those [Mike] Tyson undercards and Laila Ali was at her peak, you didn’t see the women in boxing pulling these kinds of numbers,” White said. “This is crazy what we’ve been doing. The women, for whatever reason, are just kicking ass.” – Dana White, UFC President
Of course Armbar Nation is thrilled to hear the news of the about the great ratings for TUF 18, but what about upcoming UFC events? Are the women pulling in the tickets sales they need to sustain another division in the UFC?
“I honestly think 168 is going to be massive, and will be the biggest pay-per-view we’ve ever done. And I think you’ll see Ronda and Miesha right out in front in terms of attention. That is going to add a tremendous amount to the card.” – Dana White, UFC President
So, now we want to hear from Armbar Nation, what do you think? Will UFC 168 will be the biggest pay-per-view for the UFC of all time? Will the 20 percent increase in ratings for the women’s fights continue as a trend throughout the rest of the season of TUF 18? And which female fighters would you like to see signed to the UFC in the future?
There are still many unanswered questions as to the future of the women’s divisions in the UFC, but one thing is for certain… the women are breaking arms and taking names.