The Las Vegas-based amateur fight organization that helped launch the career of female MMA superstar/movie actress Ronda Rousey is back at trying to ignite the fight careers of more women.
Tuff-N-Uff, the amateur MMA fight organization, is teaming up with the sport’s top all-women mixed martial arts fight business so that a Tuff-N-Uff amateur female fighter can win a professional contract with the all-women Invicta Fighting Championships.
Tuff-N-Uff will host a four-woman, two-fight strawweight tournament at a fight show at The Orleans on Saturday. The two female winners will face off at a Tuff-N-Uff fight event at the Thomas &Mack Center on June 7, with the winner drawing a pro fight deal with Invicta. The Thomas &Mack event will celebrate Tuff-N-Uff’s 20th anniversary.
“For Invicta, they were excited that we would help them find talent,” Tuff-N-Uff vice president Jeff Meyer said Friday. “And for us, it’s a huge feather in our cap to be able to offer this to a female fighter.”
Meyer said he envisions his fight organization serving as a launching pad for female fighters who can then move on to Invicta, where they can work on their fighting skills and then aspire to reach the MMA big leagues at Las Vegas-based Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Shannon Knapp, president and owner of Kansas City-based Invicta, said the Tuff-N-Uff female tourney gives amateur females a shot at the next step in their careers.
“It’s huge for the athletes. It’s hard for amateurs to find competition, opponents and good promotions that take care of the athlete,” Knapp said.
Meyer said Rousey started at Tuff-N-Uff in 2011 and still looks warmly at the amateur fight organization.
The four women involved in the April 11 tournament are Texas’ Jianna Denizard (5-2), Las Vegas’ own Jamie Moyle (3-2), Arkansas’ Laura Uyeda (5-0) and California’s Molly Wren-Holmes (4-0).
Meyer, a former stock broker, said Tuff-N-Uff plans to also work with other professional fight organizations on deals where Tuff-N-Uff fighters who win its amateur tournaments can also garner a professional fight contract with a pro MMA group.
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