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UFC adds women’s flyweight division; TUF 26 to crown first champ

Gallery Photo: UFC 159 media day photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Let’s try this again: The UFC will implement a women's flyweight division later this year.

After announcing last Wednesday that Season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter would feature 125-pound female fighters and crown an inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion, UFC officials said hours later the press release was sent in error and the announcement of the women’s flyweight division was “premature.”

Now, almost a week later, the UFC has decided to go forward and crown a women's flyweight champion with TUF 26. The news was first reported by ESPN W on Tuesday, and confirmed by MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.

TUF 26 will begin filming in July and premiere on Fox Sports 1 sometime later this year. Women age 21-34 who have at least three professional fights and winning records are eligible to try out. Current female UFC fighters are also allowed to try out for the season.

The addition of the UFC women’s flyweight marks the second weight class implemented for women in the promotion this year, and the fourth female division in the company. The UFC’s current female divisions are strawweight (115 pounds), bantamweight (135 pounds), and featherweight (145 pounds), the latter of which was added this year.

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