This past week, the UFC held tryouts casting women for the 18th season on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality series. It was reported that more than 300 athletes showed up for the event, including more than 50 women vying for what is likely to be eight spots on the show. It will be an interesting selection process for the UFC, to say the least.
If you look at the pattern in ‘TUF’, the UFC has really used the show to develop new talent. Aside from one season of UFC retreads, the UFC has sought new blood.
So what does that mean for the talent that is at the tryouts? Two names that have popped up in the media are veteran fighters Tara Larosa and Roxanne Modaferri. Both women have roughly 25 fights in their careers, with LaRosa making her debut back in 2002 at the first all women’s MMA show in the United States.
With the sport of women’s MMA being a thing of this century, there are very few women that are retired. I hope Becky Levi did not show up at the UFC tryouts! The woman who wins the season will have a chance at becoming one of the UFC’s big draws, so they may want to consider at least some veteran talent for the draw as well.
The coaches are set in Champion Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano, both of whom started their careers more than 5 years after some of the ladies trying out. It is true that among the women MMA competitors there is a division between the long time competitors and the newer athletes. Even Rousey, before the UFC showed interest, was resented by a lot of the other athletes because she had not paid much dues in MMA.
The competition could be used as part of the show, with an old guard versus a new up and comer type of theme.
And both LaRosa and Modaferri have interesting back stories intertwined with being MMA pioneers. They can both fight and both won historic matches in the early days. LaRosa used to train military personnel in knife fighting, and Modaferri could be a cast member on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ sitcom that fights. To find out more, let’s hop both women make it onto the show!