Another featherweight fight took place at UFC Vegas 42 without any certainty that there will still be a women’s 145-pound division in 2022 and beyond.
One-time title challenger Felicia Spencer picked up a convincing third-round TKO finish against Leah Letson on the main card to get back on track after two losses in a row. Spencer has been a stalwart in the featherweight division since her arrival in the UFC, but impressive wins don’t guarantee she’ll have a home there if the promotion ultimately ditches the weight class.
As usual, UFC President Dana White was very non-committal when it came to the future for the women’s 145-pound division, placing the onus on reigning two-division champion Amanda Nunes.
“It’s going to depend on what the champ wants to do,” White said of Nunes at the UFC Vegas 42 post-fight press conference. “We’ve got this fight coming up with her.
“We’ll see how that fight plays out, and then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do with that division. Yeah, I don’t know.”
As a two-division UFC champion, Nunes has consistently bounced between bantamweight and featherweight. Following back-to-back wins at 145 pounds, she booked a bantamweight title defense against Julianna Pena at UFC 269.
Meanwhile, the UFC’s featherweight cupboard is nearly empty – beyond consistent performers such as Spencer or Norma Dumont, who upped her record to 2-0 at 145 pounds with a decision win over Aspen Ladd.
There has been a lot of speculation about high-profile free agent Kayla Harrison potentially being added to the UFC roster after she racked up her second straight $1 million prize as champion in the PFL.
Harrison is currently exploring her options, which could also include a return to the PFL or possibly signing with a promotion such as Bellator MMA, which boasts a much deeper featherweight division. Judging by White’s comments, she could lose a possible suitor if the UFC isn’t interested in building out the weight class at 145 pounds.