The UFC issued the following press release announcing the creation of a women's strawweight division:
UFC LAUNCHES WOMEN'S STRAWWEIGHT DIVISION WITH THE ADDITION OF 11 NEW ATHLETES
The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced today that the Invicta FC women's mixed martial arts organization has assigned the contracts of 11 women's strawweight (115 pounds) competitors to the UFC. Terms of the assignment were not disclosed.
The 11 fighters are: Carla Esparza, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Joanne Calderwood, Tecia Torres, Rose Namajunas, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Alex Chambers, Julianna Lima, and Paige Van Zant.
In May, these 11 competitors will report to Las Vegas and participate on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter in the first-ever all-women's edition of the show. And for the first time ever, The Ultimate Fighter will crown a UFC champion, as the winner of season 20 will become the inaugural UFC women's strawweight champion.
Coaches for the show have not yet been determined. An additional five fighters will be selected for The Ultimate Fighter via a tryout set to be held in 2014.
"The women's 135-pound division in the UFC has been amazing and we know there are a ton of talented women's mixed martial artists out there," UFC president Dana White said. "Now, you'll see even more great women's bouts in the UFC with the addition of the 115-pound division. We're excited to crown the first-ever UFC women's strawweight champion in 2014 after a historic season of The Ultimate Fighter."