I wrote an article on mmasucka.com :D
click the linky below for pretty formatting. Otherwise, keep reading: :)
"The Ultimate Fighter 18 went down in history as being the first season to include female fighters. Eight women and eight men lived and trained side by side, struggling for the one goal of winning the tournament and being signed to the
TUF 20 will be the first season to feature an all-women cast, some of which have been chosen already. How will fans react? What will ratings be like? It was statistically proven that episodes of TUF 18 featuring women’s fights had a higher viewership than ones with men’s.
The women already chosen are: Carla Esparza, Alex Chambers, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Juilianna Lima, Rose Namajunas, Tecia Torres, and Joanne Caldwerood.
Paige Vanzant was originally selected, but it turns out she is too young – only 20 years old. Therefore, the UFC signed her straight to the UFC. For those of you who are indignant and say that someone so young with a record of 3-1 doesn’t deserve to be signed….don’t worry. The UFC is like a jungle – survival of the fittest will take care of things. If she loses and is beaten up, she’ll get cut. If she wins and shines, then she really deserves to be there. Let’s wait and see.
Let’s take a look at a few out of many hopeful fightergirls who will be trying out for the remaining spots on TUF 20.
“Hurricane” Heather Clark (6-4) has always dreamed of fighting in the UFC.
“When I started training MMA, Dana White claimed that there would never be women in the UFC,” Heather said. She therefore strove to be number one in her weight class. When women got a shot at the UFC, she refocused on getting in. In addition to doing fighting, she does professional photography, she has a
“Mixing the TV with MMA would be the ultimate!” she said. “I want the world to know that I am a hard-working, motivated, and skilled fighter. I want to inspire people to believe that they also can follow their dreams, because dreams do come true with hard work and dedication.”
Jessica Penne (11-2) decided to try out for TUF 20 by moving up out of her normal 105 lb division to 115 pounds.
“I was focused on 105,” she said, but has since then reconsidered and decided that the timing for joining TUF is good. “I’m in my prime and I want to fight the best and challenge myself. Being on TUF means that I’ll get a chance to fight the best, and be a part of further progressing WMMA. I’d like the world to know that I am a hard worker and a true competitor. I want to be able to show my years of hard work and dedication to the
Lisa Ellis (15-8) has been competing in MMA professionally for almost ten years, and has fought many of the top female fighters in the world.
“I know I can be the first UFC 115 lb champion,” Lisa declared. “Going on the show would mean a lot to me because it would be such a great opportunity to focus completely on my training.”
Like most, Lisa has always held a job to support herself while fighting, and about seven years ago, opened an MMA gym with her husband Eddy.
“In the TUF house I’ll be able to peak and show the world what I’m really made of. I also want the world to know that I’m a good mommy, wife, friend, daughter, business owner, Mixed Martial Artist, semi-professional cook, and more! I want to motivate and inspire others to step out of their comfort zone and try new things.” Her husband Eddy Ellis was on season 16, so they’d be the first husband-wife couple to be on TUF.
Aisling Daly (14-5) will be making the trip from Ireland to try out. She feels that going through The Ultimate Fighter is her only entry route to the UFC right now. Being a reality TV star is not her goal. “TUF itself is a stepping stone to me for my actual goal,” she explained. “I want to perform and show my skills on the biggest stage in the world. I want the world to know I’m a great fighter.”
Recognition and acceptance of female fighters is only getting better and better. “I think WMMA has grown leaps and bounds from when I first started,” Lisa Ellis stated. She did her first amateur match Jan 2004, and debuted as a pro in Nov. 2004. “Back then I would take a fight 20lbs out of my weight class just to compete!”
Heather Clark pointed out that women work just as hard if not harder than men often times because of lack of training partners the same size. “We often have to train with bigger men, and are sometimes teased for being a female fighter in the minority. I am very blessed to have trained at gyms where I had great female training partners. However, many other female fighters aren’t so lucky.”
“I feel that WMMA is finally starting to get the attention and recognition that it deserves,” Jessica Penne said. “Women have trained and competed for so long without acknowledgement, and it’s long overdue.”
Tryouts will take place on April 28th in Las Vegas, at the Palace Station Casino Grand Ballroom, starting at 8 AM and running all day. About 50 women showed up for TUF 18 tryouts. How many will we see this time?