Bellator Featherweight Division Finally Gets Queen

Bellator MMA will soon be crowning just the second female champion in the Viacom-owned organization’s almost decade-long history. The promotion currently offers female divisions at 125 (flyweight) and 145 pounds (featherweight) but have not had a women’s champion since the short-lived 115-pound (strawweight) division of 2010.

Women’s MMA legend Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd will scrap for the new belt at 145 of March 3. The bout was scheduled for May of last year but fell apart due to an injury to Budd. Coenen was supposed to compete in November but missed the weight cut-off. The 23-7 veteran is a former women’s bantamweight (135 pounds) titleholder for Bellator president Scott Coker’s now-defunct Strikeforce.

Budd has gone 3-0 in Bellator and won seven straight fights overall with her only loss being to Ronda Rousey before the UFC found success with WMMA. “The Jewel” in Budd also had a run with the UFC-affiliated all-female Invicta Fighting Championships between mid-2012 and late 2013. The Dutch Coenen, a multi-faceted threat will be the Bellator 174 headliner opposite the Muay Thai specialist in Budd.

Bellator 174 takes place on March 3 at the Global Event Center at WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, OK beginning at 8 p.m. CST.