UFC women’s bantamweight Julie Kedzie is a pioneer of women’s mixed martial arts in her own right, but she believes the women who were cast on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter have a real chance to do the same on a much bigger stage.
Recently, Kedzie participated in an interview with Sherdog.com to discuss what we should expect from the season and how it could impact the future of women’s mixed martial arts.
“The women who are going to be signed to the UFC from that show I think will probably get double the amount of sponsors that I could ever have just coming straight into the UFC,” said Kedzie. “The exposure they’re gonna have is incredible. I hope they were all saying that to themselves as they were going through hell.”
It’s definitely going to be tougher for the women this season, since it is the first time that females will be on The Ultimate Fighter and living in the house, but they have a huge opportunity to take WMMA to the next level.
“The women are under more scrutiny for this season. I think we’ve mostly changed the attitude of fans from ‘women can’t fight’ to ‘some women can fight. There is still a little doubt, and I think that these women who are on the show, they may carry that burden of proving to the world on an even bigger scale that we can fight,” Kedzie added.
“Basically, they’re pioneers in the sense that Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar were. My hat’s off to them for going through it. Regardless of the outcome of any of the fights, they’re gonna go down in history, and they’re gonna be remembered. It’s a scary thing to do.”
Season 18 of TUF premieres on September 4 on FOX Sports 1 in what looks to be a promising season.
If the show can boil down to an incredible finale like the Griffin vs. Bonnar fight that really took the UFC to the next level, this season will be well worth the wait and the UFC’s plan to promote the women’s division will be a success.