The UFC made it official on May 9, 2017, that a fourth weight class would be added to the women’s division, flyweight. Other promotions have had a women’s flyweight division for a long time, the UFC was wise to pull the trigger on this. The talent available is astounding. Women’s MMA is coming so far at a rapid pace and it’s exciting to see.
A slot needed to be filled on the UFC 216 main card. Mara Romero Borella will face off against Kalindra Faria who was supposed to fight Andrea “KGB” Lee, but she needs to undergo the UFC six month USADA program. Lee will have her time soon enough, and it will be a great debut and add to a stacked division, but for now, two other exciting fighters have been added.
UFC believes in the division and understands the importance of it. This was made evident by the current airing of TUF 26. The competition is all female flyweights, and it has been a great show so far. The winner of TUF 26 will be the first UFC women’s flyweight champion, so they brought in some major talent for the show. This is recommended watching not just for UFC fans, but fans of MMA in general.
Look for the UFC women’s flyweight division to become one of its most competitive. Women’s MMA as a whole is standing up for itself, and people are taking notice. Dana White took notice too with this quote from his interview with ESPNW:
Women’s fighting has become very popular. I waited for a while to pull the trigger on this division, and I think it’s time. I’m ready to do it now. There are a lot of 125-pound women out there fighting already. Now they’ll get the opportunity to fight in the UFC. We’ll have four women’s divisions, and as far as I’m concerned we can’t have enough.
Current UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has spoken on the topic before. She has stated she wants to be a two-division champion multiple times and has referenced the flyweight division. The UFC is making a lot of smart moves with women fighters, and it’s an exciting time. This division will bring current UFC strawweight and bantamweight fighters, and it will bring in some new faces which are always refreshing.
Seeing the women’s side of the sport exploding like this is exciting. And these two fighters set to make their debut at UFC 216 will be good additions. Onto the double feature:
Mara Romero Borella
The Italian, Mara Romero Borella is 31-years-old, fights out of Polpenazze del Garda, Piacenza, Italy, and is affiliated with Mixed Martial PRO team KBJJS. She is the top-ranked fighter of 140 active western European women (pound for pound). The women's MMA scene in Europe is exploding, and Romero Borella is right at the top of it. She still has plenty of fights left in her, and her UFC debut should be a solid outing.
Romero Borella is sitting at the #16 spot overall for the current best women's flyweights in the world. Considering that list has names like Ariane Lipski, Andrea Lee, Roxanne Modafferi, and Jennifer Maia, it's impressive being on the list.
She has fought pro since 2014 and in this short time she has racked up 15 fights and holds an 11-4 record. A quick breakdown of her victories shows how well rounded she is as a fighter: three wins by KO/TKO, four wins by submission, and four wins by decision. Her jiu-jitsu is lethal, and her hands are heavy. She will attack a limb to decimate her opponent, and she is a solid wrestler. Wrestlers are always fun to watch in the cage, their ground offense is aggressive and fast.
Romero Borella is a smart fighter and consistent. It's hard to have a more balanced and consistent resume. Being balanced allows a fighter to have multiple tools to reach for and do not have to focus on one aspect of their game. One thing about Romero Borella that's fun to watch is her quick decision making. She is not afraid to trade anywhere in the cage and she is also smart enough to back out and reset if she's not getting an upper hand. Look for some exciting fights from Romero. She's got the heart, focus, and a great skill set at her disposal. Romero Borella is a great addition and has a great opportunity.
The 31-years-old Kalindra Faria is a Brazilian-born fighter and fights out of Taubate, Sao Paulo, Brazil representing Bronx's gold team. Faria is a fun fighter to watch, as she is balanced but when it comes down to it, it's her creative striking and movement that wows spectators. She brings a lot of heat from various angles that make for a tough fight for her opponent. Her movement is fluid, almost serpent-like.
Faria is the 31st ranked women's bantamweight fighter worldwide. She is in great company on a list topped off by Amanda Nunes, and Valentina Shevchenko. Fighting in flyweight may be a challenge but her power is something her opponents will need to respect and think about.
Faria turned pro in 2009 and started her career with two TKO victories. She has never lost over two in a row, and from 2011-2014 she had an outrageous 11 fight win streak. She then dropped two fights by decision but is now on a three-fight win streak. Her overall record is 18-5. Her wins are divided up as seven by KO/TKO, five by submission, and six by decision. She has a ton of experience.
She is a balanced fighter, has animated head movement, will take the defensive on the ground and will do it quickly. She has a knack for fighting; she has great awareness and uses it to her advantage. Faria is smooth on the ground and can turn defense into offense at the blink of an eye.
Faria has been fighting a long time and still has quite a way to go. The UFC should be a good fit for her. The flyweight division will have some interesting matchups for her, she isn't the only bantamweight dropping to flyweight, and she won't be the last. Her power should be her focus.
These are two solid additions to the UFC's newest division. Considering some of the possible matchups in the next few months is exciting. UFC 216 will be a great event, do yourself a favor and watch these ladies fight, it should be a good one.
How do you feel about these new additions to the UFC women's flyweight division? Let us know in the comments.
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