Felice Herrig’s comments on the UFC’s lack of promotion at her post fight conference made headlines this week, and while she brought up some good points, it’s important to remember how much wins and losses matter as well as fight activity.
Herring mentioned not being young and beautiful enough for the UFC promotional machine to get behind her, and it was obviously a clear shot at fellow UFC straw weight, Paige Van Zant. The problem with Herrig’s argument is the fact that she had her opportunity to outshine VanZant and take her spot in the rankings, but she came up short in their 2015 fight on Fox.
The fight was featured as the first of the main card headlined by Lyoto Machida and Luke Rockhold and while Herrig had the advantage in experience, she was outmatched by the much greener VanZant who would move on to bigger and better things following the win.
Another interesting note is that unlike VanZant, Herrig was fortunate enough to be included on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter, which crowned the inaugural UFC women’s straw weight champion and rather than use the reality TV platform to come off as America’s sweetheart, Herrig presented herself as more of a mean girl instead. Herrig’s loss against Randa Marks in the quarter finals didn’t help her cause either.
Prior to entering the UFC, Herrig made a name for herself over the years at Invicta as she embraced her sex appeal by dressing up in revealing outfits during weigh ins. Her signature weigh ins are no longer existent due to the UFC’s Reebok deal, but Herrig like other fighters still has a platform inside of the cage.
Unfortunately for fans of “The lil’ bulldog,” she only fought once in 2015 – her loss to VanZant- that came after her stint on TUF and once more in 2016, an impressive submission win over Kailin Curran. VanZant on the other hand competed three times in 2015 and twice in 2016 after finishing second on Dancing With The Stars earlier in the year. Herrig on the other hand did manage to stop the hype train of Alexa Grasso in February and her latest win over Justine Kish puts her in a good position to move into the top 10 of her division. That is if her health holds up and allows her to remain active this year.
While Herrig does have a point in the UFC’s lack of promotion regarding female fighters who don’t fit the mold they’re looking for, someone like Amanda Nunes is a better example of that argument. Herrig did a great job in turning her post fight presser into her own personal soapbox while giving fans and the media something to discuss. Let’s hope she lets her performance do the talking from here on out.