Alexandra Albu Signing Was the Right Move for the UFC
Alexandra Albu is the latest signing to the UFC's bantamweight division. However, was it the right move?
I say yes, but let me backtrack to provide context as to why this signing has raised a few eyes.
The UFC needs to line the women's bantamweight division, but they have not signed a long list of 135-pound females on the regional circuit. Fighters in the Top 10, such as Lauren Taylor and Sarah D'Alelio, are still unsigned.
Albu, on the other hand, is a new face to the MMA scene. Her management's website, Red Fury MMA, lists her at 5-0. Yet, the MMA-KEGI fighter has only one confirmed bout that can be verified—a first-round TKO over Lyubov Demidova.
If that is the case, then her MMA debut was just this summer. Should she make the immediate leap to the UFC? Why would they take her?
The naysayers will likely immediately point out two things: She's attractive, and she's Russian.
The latter is one reason they were right to sign her. The UFC has talked openly about trying to enter the Russian MMA space. One way to do that is to sign Russian fighters to draw interest from fans in that area. The Red Fury MMA team has already delivered one of the best lightweights under the UFC banner in Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The second reason they were right to sign her is because they need bodies in the division. Signings of Rosi Sexton, Sheila Gaff (who has already been cut) and Jessica Eye are fine, but those women are natural flyweights. At least Albu is a bantamweight.
What about her skills?
By all research, she is a natural athlete with a background in traditional martial arts. She has not entered the sport cold turkey.
Albu has won a variety of competitions. Can she translate that into success in the cage? That is yet to be determined, but there is no reason she shouldn't get the shot to prove herself. The UFC needs more bantamweight women.
Albu has no scheduled debut date, but when she does, it will surely get a lot of intrigued eyes looking her way. She is currently clouded in mystery, and that may play to her benefit. Count me as one who is interested in seeing her compete inside the Octagon.
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