Two of the best women’s Featherweights not named Cris Justino will do battle at Bellator 155 for the debuting Bellator Featherweight championship. Former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen will square off against Julia Budd in the featured prelim of the card, airing live on Bellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App. The bout was announced by Bleacherreport.com.
Coenen (23-6, 2-0 in Bellator), who hails from the Netherlands, made her Bellator debut in October 2014 at Bellator 130 earning her first victory via rear-naked choke submission over Annalisa Bucci. She finished her second fight with an armbar submission on Arlene Blencowe in August 2015 and will making her return from a 10-month layoff. Coenen is one of the greatest women’s MMA pioneers, having made her debut in 2000, and has faced many of the sports greatest names including Roxanne Modafferi, Liz Carmouche, Sarah Kaufman, “Cyborg”Justino, and even UFC Bantamweight champion Miesha Tate.
Budd (8-2, 2-0 in Bellator) looks to land the most significant win of her six-year career when she faces Coenen. Budd has fought for both Invicta FC, and Strikeforce just as Coenen and is currently riding a six-fight winning streak after losing via armbar to Ronda Rousey.
Bellator has been cultivating its women’s divisions, Featherweight and Flyweight, since Coker replaced founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney as Bellator’s president. The divisions are an attractive home for 125- and 145-pound female fighters who fail to prosper at Strawweight and Bantamweight (the UFC’s two women’s divisions).
Bellator 155 will be headlined by a Middleweight title fight as new champ Rafael Carvalho defends his title against veteran knockout artist Melvin Manhoef.