The UFC continues to slowly ramp up the women’s Bantamweight division, announcing a match between veteran Julie Kedzie and Dutch fighter Germaine de Randamie for the July 27th ‘UFC on FOX 8′ card. It is difficult to criticize the UFC’s development style, since over the years it has resulted in MMA becoming mainstream, but the company appears to be taking a slow approach to starting the women’s leagues.
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There is no doubt the UFC hedged their bets on the women’s divisions, waiting to see if Ronda Rousey‘s debut fight would attract attention. With that done, the UFC has announced not only a series of matches on their cards, they have also committed to adding women fighters as cast members and coaches on their reality series ‘The Ultimate Fighter’.
What the UFC has not done is expand beyond the 135 lb weight class. The truth is that the competition in the 125 lb and 135 lb weight classes is very robust and has been developing for years. What the UFC is forcing some fighters to do is to gain or cut weight to get to the Bantamweight class. The signing of Rosie Sexton announced last week was great news, as Sexton is a super talented and interesting competitor, but she would be far better suited to a 125 lb weight class as opposed to bulking up.
In this latest matchup between Kedzie and de Randamie, Kedzie is a natural Bantamweight, while de Randamie is going to cut down from 145 lbs. Kedzie owns a vast experience advantage in MMA, having logged over 20 fights more than her opponent, much of that at a high level. de Randamie, known as ‘The Iron Lady’ is tough and has a tendency to extend matches the distance. Kedzie has a tendency to love her boxing, which is very good, however against de Randamie, she may want to test her ground skills. If the match goes the distance and it is a standup fight, it favors de Randamie. Kedzie needs to get the fight to the ground and take her out there.