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Posted April 30, 2015 by Melanie Gale in Editorials
 
 

Time for An Atomweight Division in the UFC?

Michelle Waterson

Michelle Waterson

The UFC officially signed Invicta’s former atomweight champion Michelle Waterson (12-4) this week, and with her addition to the UFC strawweight roster, we can’t help but wonder: when will the UFC launch an atomweight division?

Several talented former atomweights currently fight at strawweight in the UFC. Some, like Jessica Penne (12-2) and Waterson, are former Invicta FC Atomweight Champions. Others are talented fighters too small to properly thrive at strawweight. Seo Hee Ham (15-6) has an impressive atomweight history and is a dynamic fighter, and Alex Chambers (4-2) solidly won her Invicta atomweight debut against Jodie Esquibel (5-1). In Chambers’ case, the UFC quickly bought her contract for TUF 20, and she never received another atomweight bout. Both Ham and Chambers have a legit shot at being atomweight first-slot contenders, as do Ayaka Hamasaki (11-1) and Saori Ishioka (13-8), atomweights currently fighting with Deep Jewels.

Alex Chambers

Alex Chambers

If The Powers That Be at the UFC are worried about depleting their strawweight stable, there are plenty of excellent prospects they can sign, including Jessica Aguilar (19-4), Alexa Grasso (7-0), and Barb Honchak (10-2), all of whom would be exciting additions.

The UFC even has a vetted mechanism to introduce the new division to fans in the Fox Sports 1 television show “The Ultimate Fighter.” Just as happened with their new WMMA strawweights, the organization gets a ready-made roster of vets and prospects, fans get to know the fighters, and the TUF Finale actually means something. Speaking of TUF finales, Waterson makes her Octagon debut against Angela Magana (11-7) at the TUF Season 21 finale on July 12th.

Who else is ready for “The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned – Atomweights”?

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Seo Hee Ham

Seo Hee Ham

 


Melanie Gale