Connect with us


Girls, Girls, Girls: TUF 20 strawweights ready to make huge splash



I’ve really been enjoying TUF Nations: Canada vs Australia, thus far. Coaches Pat Cote and Kyle Noke are both extremely professional, so we are spared the standard ridiculously poor banter between 2 soon-to-be opponents. The contestants are all fundamentally sound and opposed to seasons past of TUF, the best free agents from their respective countries are on the show. After all these seasons of TUF, they finally seem to be understanding what fans want to see; A behind the scenes look at the best unsigned fighters trying to make it to the UFC, with little to no drama. Praise Jesus.

Within the last 2 years or so, the UFC have really been pushing their fighters to market themselves. It looks as if they have a media director as well, creating matching Twitter pages for TUF contestants. While the UFC is a brand, the fighters are their own separate brand as well. Monthly bonuses are even given to the best tweeters on their roster. Ok Evan Shoman… Where are you going with TUF Nations and Tweeting? I’m going to the creation of the women’s strawweight division that I feel will be wildly successful. Possibly more successful than any other season, well, except for Kimbo Slice’s of course.

Dana White announced that TUF 20 will feature the best female straw weights that MMA has to offer. Going so far as to sign the best fighters from the all female roster at Invicta FC. Contestants will include Invicta 115 lb. champion Carla Esparza, Alex Chambers, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Bec Rawlings, Emily Kagan, Juliana Lima, Rose Namajunas, Tecia Torres, Paige Van Zant, and Joanne Calderwood. If you follow women’s MMA, you know that lineup is awesome.

This show WILL be successful. If Twitter is a microcosm for TV viewers and fans, TUF 20 will already be double the success of TUF Nations. How? The entire 16 member cast of TUF Nations COMBINED, have 30,011 Twitter followers. Felice Herrig… 34,300. When TUF 20 ends, I bet she will be up towards the 100K mark.

Felice = 34,300. Carla Esparza = 12,300.  Claudia Gadelha = 12,900. Bec Rawlings = 15,100. Juliana Lima = 2,853. Rose Namajunas = 12,200. Paige Van Zant = 4,653. Tecia Torres = 8,512. Joanne Calderwood = 7,610. Alex Chambers = 801. Emily Kagan = 969. My math tells me that is 112K of Twitter followers of contestants on a show they haven’t even begun filming; Minus 5 more women to be added.

We’ve seen the success that women have had in the sport during a very short time. Thanks to females like Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey putting the sport on their shoulders and gaining a huge fan base, women’s MMA was able to flourish. Now, we will have a tournament featuring the elite 115 pounders in the world, with the winner become champion and an entire division will be created. This will all be featured on television where the contestants, who already created a giant following through social media, will be seen by potentially millions of fans. Rowdy Bec, Thug Rose, 12 gauge, and the Lil Bulldog are just some of the contestants who are full of personality, fight, and beauty.

This has all the elements to be the perfect storm. Never have the UFC released the names of contestants of TUF so early on. These women all have fans that consist of strictly hardcore MMA fans.  The show will of course bring in the mainstream ‘water cooler’ fans. Just wait until mainstream fans get a look at the brash and sassy, Herrig.  Or the pot stirring Aussie mom of  2, Rawlings. Or the part time 19 year old model, Van Zant. Or the #2 ranked straw weight in the world, Carla Esparza. Or the undefeated Torres, Calderwood, and Gadelha.

The icing on the cake is the coaches for TUF 20 will be UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and challenger Gilbert Melendez. In the grand scheme of things, that is the least interesting part. All of this awesome in one place and the show doesn’t even begin shooting until May. Save this article, because I am telling you, these gals are going to make a splash in MMA. You heard it here first.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.