Last night, UFC president Dana White surprised a lot of people when he announced that the organization had picked up 11 Strawweight contracts from Invicta. Additionally, White said the 115 lbers will be featured on season 20 of The Ultimate fighter which will start filming in May. It will be the first TUF season to feature an exclusively female cast.
Following the original announcement, more information was brought to light on Fox Sports Live. Ariel Helwani reported it on Twitter:
As reported on @foxsportslive, DW told me all the new 115ers got pay raises. 10 of em will get $8k/8k 2x before stepping foot in TUF house.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 12, 2013
The Invicta 115 champ Carla Esparza will get $10k/10k TWICE before TUF 20, too. So 40k before ever fighting in the UFC.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 12, 2013
Obviously, this is great for the Strawweight acquisitions. If the UFC weren't paying them like this, all eleven women would be on the shelf and uncompensated until the conclusion of TUF 20 late next fall.
Here's the full list of the fighters the UFC picked up, the 5 remaining tournament spots will be filled by an open tryout coming in 2014: