UFC president Dana White said on Friday that the 135-pound women’s roster currently stands at 10 women under contract with five more on the way.
UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, Liz Carmouche, Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, Sara McMann, and Alexis Davis were the first six the promotion revealed, but White recently confirmed the other four to Fox Sports reporter A.J. Perez.
The latest reveals are Sarah Kaufman, Julie Kedzie, Amanda Nunes, and Germaine de Randamie. All four are Strikeforce veterans that were under contract with Strikeforce when the promotion was shuttered. They're contracts were held by parent company Zuffa, LLC and thus assimilated by the UFC, as were those of most other Strikeforce fighters.
Kaufman (15-2) is widely considered among the top 5 female fighters in the world. She is coming off of a loss to Rousey in her most recent bout, however, so she’ll likely have to fight at least a couple other women on the roster before she gets a rematch.
Kaufman has a fight scheduled against Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 5 on April 5. She’ll fight that bout before she steps into the Octagon.
Kedzie, at 16-11, doesn’t have the most stellar record, but has never turned down a fight against the best competition her division has to offer. She is coming off of back-to-back losses. Those were a decision loss to Alexis Davis and a stunning come from behind performance by former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate.
One of the wild cards in the division, de Randamie (3-2) doesn’t have much MMA experience, but she is a tremendously accomplished kickboxer. de Randamie has held multiple world championships in kickboxing, amassing a 37-0 record.
Like Kaufman, Nunes (7-3) will fight next under the Invicta banner before making her Octagon debut. Coming off of a loss to Sarah D’Alelio at Invicta FC 4, Nunes will try to get back on track against Kaitlin Young before she makes the jump.
Invicta maintains a unique relationship with the UFC, wherein they are willing to share fighters, and will likely remain such a partner until the UFC “figures this whole thing out,” as White has been prone to say lately.
White was even willing to do a new deal with Cris “Cyborg” Santos under the UFC banner and foot the bill to have her fight at 145 pounds for Invicta, as the promotion works to establish women’s MMA in the Octagon. That is not the type of relationship that any other promotion has with the UFC.
White said that he intends to sign five more women in the near future, so don’t be surprised if several or even all of them have fought for Invicta, as well.
(Photo by Arnold Lim)