UFC Signs Four Female Talents Outright, Including LFA, Invicta FC Standouts

Shauna Bannon Invicta FC
Shauna Bannon (right) and Nadia Vera, Invicta FC 49 Credit: Dave Mandel/Invicta FC

The UFC appears to be bolstering the ranks of its women’s divisions, with four female talents signing directly to the promotion in recent days.

Among the new additions is LFA women’s bantamweight champion Jacqueline Cavalcanti (5-1), a 25-year old from Portugal who won her title in April. The signing was announced by Black House MMA; no debut date for Cavalcanti has been set.

Cavalcanti’s lone loss came on the PFL Challenger Series in a lightweight fight against Martina Jindrova last year.

Also joining the UFC is another fighter with a 5-1 record, Brazilian prospect Luana Santos. The 23-year old Judo black belt announced her signing on social media, writing that she was “still in shock” after inking a deal with the biggest MMA promotion in the world.

Santos, who went undefeated as an amateur, is riding a two-fight win streak and coming off a technical submission win at LFA 154 that saw her choke out Bartira Rodrigues.

Undefeated Irish strawweight Shauna Bannon (5-0) has also signed on with the UFC, a move “Mama B” announced on Wednesday. She also revealed that she will take part in July’s UFC London card.

While Bannon did not specify who she would be fighting at the O2 Arena in London, England on July 22, Severe MMA later reported that her opponent will be Bruna Brasil.

Finally, undefeated ARES FC bantamweight Melissa Dixon (5-0) is now a UFC fighter. MMA Junkie was first to report the signing on Friday, citing Dixon’s management firm, First Round Management. Fighting out of Coventry, England and sporting the nickname “No Mess Mullins,” Dixon has three finishes among her five professional MMA wins.

In her most recent fight, at ARES FC 9, Dixon stopped the previously undefeated Darya Zheleznyakova with ground n’ pound with just one second left in the opening round.

The bantamweight division has been in the spotlight this week, as 135lb champ Amanda Nunes defends her title against Irene Aldana at UFC 289 this weekend.