Bellator will be having a female tournament take place before the end of the year.
That’s according to Bellator president Scott Coker who revealed to MMA Tonight that prior to the announcement of their light heavyweight tournament earlier this month, the initial plan was for a female one.
“Miesha, we were actually going to do a female tournament to be honest,” Coker said. “We were waiting for you to come out of retirement. I believe it will happen at one time as well. But getting back to the tournament, Liz Carmouche came in back with us. She fought for us at Strikeforce, now she’s fighting at Bellator.
“So I said okay, now we have some of the pieces to get this tournament together. Then we have Juliana Velasquez who just beat Ilima-Lei Macfarlane so we were going to put a couple more pieces together and we said this is the tournament we wanted to watch.”
Light Heavyweight Acquisitions Changed Coker Plans
Of course, Bellator would then go on to strengthen their light heavyweight division with the signings of Anthony Johnson and Yoel Romero.
It was only natural, then, to focus on a 205-pound tournament. However, a female tournament is still in the works for the future.
“What happened was we just started getting all these chips at 205 and all this talent,” Coker added. “… We made a deal with [Johnson] and Yoel became free. Then I’m looking at this division and I’m going, ‘how can we not do this?’ This is like a no-brainer. We’ll get crucified if we didn’t do it.
“But we’ll put the ladies just on hold for six months but I think before the end of next year, we’ll see a female tournament in Bellator.”
🔊 "I think that before the end of next year you will see a female tournament in Bellator." 🚨@BellatorMMA President @ScottCoker tells @MieshaTate & @RyanMcKinnell that prior to picking up key fighters at 205lbs, the plan was to have a women's tournament. 😲 pic.twitter.com/i3te9sa4Em
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) February 25, 2021
As for which division it would take place at is not known, but the chances are it will be at women’s flyweight given the names Coker mentioned.