Sheila Gaff First Woman Released by the UFC
It’s been a year of firsts for women in MMA, and here’s another one. German bantamweight Sheila Gaff has just become the first female fighter released from the UFC.
Gaff was soundly defeated by Brazilian Amanda Nunes at UFC 163 via first round TKO.
The news was broken by the German website GroundandPound.de (via mixedmartialarts.com), which reports Gaff saying:
Disappointments and defeats belong to every fighter in this career, but I will go on... Most of all I am sorry that I could not show my fans what I can really do. In the last two weeks the love and uplifting words from many of my fans have helped. Thanks also for the support of sponsors MMA Spirit, Geva and Olimp.
Prior to joining the handful of officially signed women on the UFC’s roster—the first group of women to ever fight for the promotion—Gaff had won three straight as a flyweight. However, things have proved slightly more difficult for her at the higher bantamweight division, as she has now lost two fights on the trot.
Both fights, including her debut against Olympic wrestler Sara McMann, were lopsided TKO losses in the first round.
Earlier this year, the UFC’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, and her opponent, Liz Carmouche, made history by taking part in the first ever women’s MMA fight the UFC has held.
Since then, the women have become an increasingly regular feature at UFC events, often stealing the show.
Though the women’s division, with only 13 fighters, is still relatively shallow, it’s obviously proved strong enough for the promotion to feel Gaff’s services were surplus to requirements.
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