By Felix Rodriguez, Staff Writer | Photo: www.lutadoresdorn.com.br
Most recent signing underscores overall growth for women fighters in the UFC
October 1, 2013 – The UFC’s WMMA talent pool just got a little deeper. Brazilian MMA news site Damadeferro.com has announced that Zuffa has signed Brazilian prospect Bethe Correia to a multi-fight contract to compete in the UFC octagon. The undefeated fighter who is trained by Netinho Pegado, Mario Novaes and Wallid Ismail has gained experience fighting in Brazil’s Jungle Fight promotion and currently has a record of 6-0 so far in her burgeioning career.
The UFC has yet to officially announce Correia’s signing but it is likely that she will be paired to fight with someone right away. After reviewing the roster of UFC female fighters who are not locked down to fight an active fighter we agree with the writers at Damadeferro’s (Iron Lady) assumption that Julie Kedzie would be a logical first fight.
Currently the UFC has 13 female fighters signed to their roster, all in the bantamweight division. With Correia’s signing that would bring the total number of female fighters up to an even 14 for the growing division. Zuffa may soon add anywhere between one and eight more female mixed martial artists to the roster upon completion of the TUF: Rousey vs. Tate edition of Fox sports 1’s The Ultimate Fighter reality series.
All in all, things are looking promising for WMMA in the UFC. Female fighters are showing up to fight and have upstaged many of their male counterparts when given the opportunity. The signing of Bethe Correia is just another step in the right direction for the UFC, who could potentially have 22 women competing in the octagon by year’s end. That is nearly twice their current active roster so things are definitely trending upward. With many of these women being able to comfortably drop down a weight class from bantamweight it is a safe assumption that a second female division may also soon follow in 2014.
Here is a video of Bethe Correia’s last MMA fight against Erica Paes at Jungle Fight 54:
How do you think Bethe Correia would fair against the current roster of female fighters?