It seems that as the UFC puts on more and more fight cards, the potential for competitors to drop out of their assignment continues to escalate.
Injuries plague fighters no matter the organization they compete for but when it is on the biggest stage of them all in the UFC, opportunity usually comes knocking for those who least expect it.
We hear about it all the time on social media, the feel-good stories that managers share about calling their client(s) and delivery the good news that they are getting a short notice call to the UFC. One fighter’s misfortune becomes another’s blessing.
While the UFC newcomer may not always be thrown to the wolves right out of the gate, that is not always the case. Fighters fight and almost nobody would balk an opportunity to compete in from UFC President Dana White, but sometimes we are left wondering why one competitor got the last-minute call over another.
Today, in honor of #InternationalWomensDay, we are going to take a quick look at 5 female fighters that the UFC could potentially call for a short-notice fight should the need arise.
*** One thing to consider here is that if you continually pluck fighters from the Invicta FC (all-female fight organization) roster, it makes it hard for Shannon Knapp (promoter) to continue to put on great fights. With that in mind, we tried not to pull entirely from the Invicta FC brand, but it was impossible to steer clear entirely. Also, this isn’t a list of fighters that are necessarily on the cusp or more deserving than other women. It is merely a short list of women from various part of the globe who are currently exceling in their craft and has no influence on rankings or matchmaking.
The list is also void of names competing on Season 30 of the Ultimate Fighter.
In no particular order 5 female fighters the UFC should keep an eye on for short-notice fights:
Undefeated at 8-0, Tijuana, Mexico’s Yazmin Jauregui is a top prospect at 115-pounds. The 23-year-old competitor currently fights with Combate Global but with two first-round finishes and a tournament title to her resume, Jauregui is an athlete that UFC matchmakers are most certainly keeping an eye on. She trains at Entram Gym under the tutelage of Raul Arvizu and alongside former UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno.
Serena “The Southpaw Outlaw” DeJesus
After a questionable loss at Titan FC 64 in the summer of 2020, the 30-year-old fighter living in Nevada racked up three consecutive wins at 135-pounds. The longtime training partner of the recently retired Roxanne Modafferi claimed victories over former former UFC fighters Elizabeth Phillips and Lauren Mueller in her last two outings. Throw in the fact that she lives in the fight capitol of the world, Las Vegas, it shouldn’t be hard for DeJesus to hitch an Uber to the UFC Apex. With her professional record now sitting at 4-2, and experience under the bright lights for promotions like Titan and Invicta FC, Serena DeJesus is a prime candidate for a bantamweight replacement. “The Southpaw Outlaw” currently has one more fight on her contract with Invicta FC and could potentially find herself in a title shot opportunity if she re-signs with the promotion, or fight fans may witness DeJesus soon make her octagon debut. Time will tell.
Brazil’s Dayane Souza, also known as “Monster” currently holds a professional mixed martial arts record of 8-1 and is coming off a second-round submission win over Elaine Lopes at LFA 112 in the summer of 2021. A rib injury forced Souza off her last scheduled bout, but when fully healed and ready to compete, the 25-year-old fighter could potentially find herself on a short-list of possible replacement fighters as she had bouts at both strawweight and bantamweight in 2021, meaning she could make 115, 125, or 135 if necessary.
Fresh off a submission win over Monica Franco at Invicta FC 45 in January, Texas native Hailey Cowan was hoping for a call up to the UFC for the February card in Houston. That unfortunately did not happen for the 30-year-old bantamweight fighter, but it does not mean that a call to the octagon is not in her near future. Having all eight of her professional fights take place under the Invicta FC and LFA banners is a sure sign that Cowan is on the right track.
Coming off a recent win over Helen Peralta who is currently competing on season 30 of the Ultimate Fighter herself, Laura Gallardo is a strawweight competitor to keep an eye on. The California native sits with a young 4-1 record right now, but her win over Peralta came under the Cage Fury Fighting Championships banner, a promotion known for sending competitors to the UFC. Gallardo went undefeated as an amateur before suffering her long loss in her third professional outing. That fight took place under the Invicta FC banner, a split decision loss to Trisha Cicero.
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