Bellator is getting more bella. For you non-Guido types who comprise one half of the MMA community, that means beautiful in Italian. According to a press release, President Scott Coker is reviving the company’s women’s division with the signing of two of FEMMA’s top featherweights, Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd.
“We’re incredibly excited to bring in two of the best athletes competing in our sport today,” he said. “We are making a commitment to bring back the female division to Bellator, and feature some of the world’s best in the Bellator cage.”
This is certainly a good start. Coenen is 21-6 with 15 submission wins, and ranked number 2 in her weight class in the world.
“After fighting professionally for over 15 years, I am honored to be invited into the Bellator cage,” she said. “Fighting for Bellator brings my spirit back for fighting! It is great to be working together with Scott Coker again as we both have the same vision on fighting. My style is fighting with the objective to knock my opponent out or to submit her. That is exactly what I am planning to do the very first second I step into the Bellator cage.”
And Budd hasn’t lost in four fights, making her the division’s number three.
“I’m ecstatic about the opportunity that Bellator is giving the 145 female division and I’m especially excited to be one of the first females to fight for Scott Coker under the Bellator banner,” she said. “This gives me the opportunity to showcase my skills as one of the best fighters in the world on one of the biggest stages in the world.”
She’ll get a chance to showcase those skills soon. Bellator plans to immediately pit Coenen and Budd against each other later this year. Of course, the signing invites us to speculate about the fate of the number one ranked featherweight: Christine Cyborg Justino (aka Santos). Given her disinterest in meeting Ronda Rousey at a lower weight class in the UFC, it would not be surprising if Bellator made a run for the Strikeforce champ.