The 29th season of The Ultimate Fighter has officially come to a close. Bryan Battle is your middleweight winner and Ricky Turcios took home the prize for the bantamweights. One thing we know is as long as Dana White is working for the UFC, The Ultimate Fighter isn’t going anywhere. So we decided to take a look at weight classes to consider for the 30th season of TUF.
Ideally, one day we’ll see the return of TUF Live. But until then, read about the four weight classes in need of some new blood — and a new season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Though the women’s featherweights were featured two seasons ago, the majority of the women from the show who signed to the UFC currently fight in the bantamweight division. All besides Leah Letson, who makes her return to combat soon after a very long layoff. It was sort of a bummer for fight fans because the newly formed 145 division desperately needed a roster and rankings. Why not bring it back this season with true featherweights, and once the season’s over, book them in that weight class.
Amanda Nunes has been adamant she does not want the featherweight division to go away, and she needs challengers. I think the UFC could capitalize here and make this upcoming TUF season where you fight the champion at the end of the tournament, similarly to what they did with the flyweights on TUF 25. They could bring in women who were cut at 135, free agents from the regional scene, and a few fresh faces. But if we’re honest, this is probably very unlikely with Megan Anderson released, and Cyborg reigning over the true featherweight division in Bellator. There aren’t many viable prospects left unfortunately…
When you look at the heavyweight division on the regional scene, it’s starting to slim down. While we await some amateurs to become pros, UFC should bring back the heavyweights again. When the big boys are on the show, it’s always an exciting season. Even though they had some on two seasons ago with the female 145ers, it would be a good time to bring them back.
It really ironic how both of these divisions are still struggling to find talent, build them, and/or keep them. Despite them being on TUF 28, UFC is still struggling to find new talent to sign. We still don’t understand not signing the remaining cast members as a reward for doing the show. If you think about it, they all sign up for 5-6 weeks of putting their bodies through multiple weight cuts. To not eventually fight in the UFC, is a bit messed up.
The flyweight division has the same problem the women’s bantamweight and featherweight divisions have. The only difference is this problem is named Valentina Shevchenko. With the division in need of some additional exciting prospects, bringing them on for the second time on TUF would be a treat for fight fans. We’d see many strawweights moving up for the show and some new faces to introduce to the world.
Flyweight fights rarely ever disappoint so it seems like a no-brainer to bring them on for the next season. Especially since this recent season was an all-male cast. Finding new blood in this division is critical for the weight class moving forward, but luckily it does have some key players building hype in the UFC and on the regional circuit.
The featherweight division is one of the most exciting ones when it comes to fights in the top 15. But when you think of rising prospects being promoted heavily, there aren’t many. Since the division is sometimes overlooked, the featherweights should be put front and center for the world to get to know and follow their journeys on the next season of TUF.
Similarly to the women flyweights, if UFC went this direction, they would have some 135ers moving up for the show, along with some regional featherweights. And let’s be honest… the bantamweights really brought it this season. We wouldn’t be mad with another season of the smaller guys putting on banger fights.
When writing this, it really seems like the welterweight division is one of the most forgotten weight classes, minus those in the top 15. Usually when that happens, that means the division is in need of new talent to build that next wave of UFC fighters. Why not bring them on for Season 30? It’s been a while since TUF had welterweights on the show. 2017 was the last time they did have them when Jessie Taylor won the redemption season.
Adding more talent to the welterweight division would be fun to watch happen on The Ultimate Fighter. It seems like one of the more likely options UFC may go with next, especially after AJ Fletcher’s flying knee on the season opener of Contender Series.
Which weight classes would you like to see next on The Ultimate Fighter? Comment below.