Last Summer Dana White was quoted as saying that he wanted to bring a flyweight division to the UFC. Last Saturday he made good on that promise, announcing the first fights in the new weight class would be scheduled for March 4th in Sydney, Australia.
The news is great for fans and fighters alike, as it means another new division with brand new faces, new challengers and new opportunities for great match-ups. The smallest division in MMA will finally be given the recognition it deserves. Not to mention a new title that could headline future cards.
The problem is, adding weight classes is difficult. The featherweight and bantamweight classes have struggled to gain traction despite many great fights. With the casual fan, awareness of the two new weight classes is still low.
Until The Ultimate Fighter 14 premiered, that is. Featuring featherweights and bantamweights, TUF 14 produced great fights and was one of the most interesting seasons yet. John Dodson and Diego Brandao proved to be great fighters in winning the show and will certainly be marketable attractions to future cards.
If the UFC really wants to bring the flyweight class to the UFC sooner rather than later, why not give them immediate exposure through TUF? Introducing a new weight class through the reality series would allow fans to get to know these new fighters and help them care about the weight class as it's being built.
Holding the season early on into the weight class's life will allow a huge injection of talent adding depth to the roster right out of the gate. Fighters who have struggled to gain recognition outside the UFC could become household names in just 12 weeks and bring more eyes to the division as it grows.
While season 15 has already been set as welterweights and lightweights the opportunity is still there. Let season 16 be all about the flyweights. Give them and the new division the attention that they rightfully deserve.