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Pump the brakes: TUF 26 with women’s flyweight debut not official yet

UFC belt (GC) Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

A UFC press release announcing the women’s flyweight division’s debut as part of The Ultimate Fighter 26 was sent in error Wednesday evening, a UFC official confirmed with MMA Fighting.

The release, sent by UFC public relations to media Wednesday, announced that tryouts would be held for TUF 26 on May 23 in Las Vegas. The invitation would be for women’s 125-pound fighters and the season of the show would crown the first-ever UFC women’s flyweight champion, the release stated.

“Women’s flyweights, between the ages of 21-34 with a winning record and at least three professional fights are invited to attend the open casting call in Las Vegas,” the release said. “The season will also be open to females on the current UFC roster that can successfully make 125-pounds throughout the duration of the season.”

However, a UFC official told MMA Fighting on Wednesday that it is not a done deal. It is being considered, but any announcement was premature, the official said. UFC president Dana White told the same thing to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports.

White told Iole that the news release was sent in error and was not finalized.

The original TUF 26 casting call was for women’s strawweights and women’s bantamweights, as well as men’s middleweights. That was cancelled per the release sent out Wednesday.

The UFC has women’s divisions at 135 pounds and 115 pounds. The addition of a 125-pound division would be a welcome one for women who cut too much weight to make 115, but are too small for 135. Many fighters on the UFC roster, including strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, have expressed interest in competing at 125.

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