Women's MMA- Bellator Adds Flyweights
Bellator’s aggressive expansion continues! Less than a month after it was reported by Dave Doyle/MMAFighting.com that Bellator vowed to crown champions in both of its women’s divisions, the ink has dried on the deals for three Flyweights (125 lbs.): Bruna Ellen (2-0 overall), Bruna Vargas (2-0 overall), and Kenya Miranda (2-1 overall) to bring the division total to seven for now.
Between the two major promotions, Bellator actually beat UFC to the punch on this one (pun intended), initially adding a Strawweight (115 lbs.) division and crowing Zoila Gurgel the inaugural titleholder. She reigned for 831 days from October 28, 2010 until vacating the belt on February 5, 2013 to sign with the all-female Invicta. The division was later scrapped. As you read this, both divisions share one thing: the need for an alpha. For the Featherweights, the standout when it comes to gold is Strikeforce veteran (23-6-0 overall, 2-0 Bellator) Marloes Coenen. The Strawweights have Rebecca Ruth (5-1 overall), Lena Ovchynnikova (10-3), and MMA newcomer but well-known kickboxer (and yes, wife of the UFC’s Gilbert Melendez), Keri Taylor-Melendez. “...before I met Gilbert I was fighting," she told MMAFighting.com. "I train really hard regardless, but I think that could be a little bit in the back of my mind, a little bit of motivation to help get through these grueling eight weeks and to just be ready to show everyone my skills on such a bigger stage. And show who I am -- and not just Gilbert Melendez's wife." While having a husband in the UFC can cast its own larger-than-life shadow, for ALL the women of these divisions, this is their biggest stage at the moment. They ALL have something to prove. "We're aggressively signing talent at 125 pounds," Bellator President Scott Coker said. "Things have to play out a bit, but by the summer, we should be in position start the process on crowning a champion." Coenen vs. Julia Budd for the 145-pound prize will take place upon Coenen’s return from injury.