TUF 26 Finale Preview

tuf-26Women’s MMA has certainly grown in the past few years and largely due to the fact that the UFC finally accepted that it was a viable option.

The story has been told many times before about Dana White refusing to allow women into the UFC until Ronda Rousey convinced him.

Since then the promotion has moved on from Rousey and has created an environment for the best female fighters in the world to show what they have.

MMA might be one of the few places, especially in sports, where men and women are on an even playing field.

The money is the same and the potential for stardom is the same as superstars can emerge from the women’s divisions.

The UFC has seen this and realizes that women’s fighter is a legitimate part of their business and as a result, they have continued to build on its success.

Women’s fighting in the UFC began with the bantamweight division and only because that is where Rousey fought.

The success of that division led to the inclusion of a smaller weight class in the strawweight division bringing a host of new faces to the promotion.

Then came the women’s featherweight division that gave a chance to the fighters struggling to make the bantamweight limit.

That division was largely created to bring the woman, that many believe to be the greatest female fighter ever, into the UFC, Cris Cyborg.

The UFC didn’t stop with just three divisions in women’s MMA though as they gave even more female fighters a chance to compete in the top promotion in the world.

Much like the introduction of the strawweight division, the UFC decided that they would give plenty of women a shot at the first every Flyweight title.

They introduced the new division with The Ultimate Fighter welcoming 16 fighters into the Ultimate Fighter House to compete for the top spot in the UFC’s newest division.

The tournament was an interesting one as fighters from every background were included in the tournament.

There were former Invicta champions and international fighters along with new names that hadn’t been able to make their way to the top yet.

It gave everyone a chance to compete for the new title and everyone a chance to earn that UFC contract.

The 16 fighters were moved down to only two after the tournament and in a surprising development, two fighters with not much of a name emerged.

First is Nicco Montano who came into the show with only five professional fights on her record including two losses.  mma-sidebar.fw

As a result, she was ranked as one of the lower fighters on the show taking the 13th spot in the tournament and having to go through some great fighters.

After beating veteran and former UFC fighter Lauren Murphy people began to take notice then beating #6 Montana Stewart and finally former Invicta champion Barb Honchak.

She surprised everyone coming out of nowhere to earn her spot in the Finale and a shot at the title and representing the Navajo Nation trying to become the first indigenous champion in UFC history.

In that fight, she will take on another relatively unknown fight in Sijara Eubanks who brought four fights into her reality show experience.

In those four fights, she lost two not necessarily inspiring the most hype around her name before the TV show.

Her struggles with the weight cut were not the greatest indication of success but her power on the feet overwhelmed plenty of experienced fighters.

She took out Maia Stevenson by submission then DeAndre Bennett by knockout until earning a unanimous decision win over the top seed in the tournament, Roxanne Modafferi.

Her motivation was entirely in the fact that she entered the tournament #13 and felt disrespected.

Now, these two unknowns get to rise up to the top of the MMA world by taking home that UFC gold.

Every fighter looks for that title and now two young fighters just getting started are given the chance to reach that goal.

Either one could find their way to that ultimate goal and could have a long and illustrious career ahead of them with The Ultimate Fighter just being the start of things.

tuf26-finale

 

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