The women’s featherweight division has gained significant attention over the past year thanks to the introduction of title belts in both the UFC and Bellator MMA.
On February 11 in the UFC 208 main event, Germaine de Randamie defeated Holly Holm by way of a rather controversial unanimous decision to become the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight champion. Following the victory, the 33-year-old refused to fight Cris Cyborg, the number-one ranked female featherweight fighter in the world, and was thus stripped of her belt. Cyborg went on to win the belt at UFC 214, knocking out Tonya Evinger in the third-round.
Meanwhile, Julia Budd, the number-two ranked female featherweight fighter in the world, captured the Bellator MMA featherweight title on March 3, knocking out Marloes Coenen in the fourth round. She will make the first defense of her belt on December 1, against number-three ranked Arlene Blencowe.
When it comes to which organization has the better featherweight division, the answer is very clearly Bellator MMA. The UFC’s 145 division is nonexistent and instead appears to have become a “Cris Cyborg belt” in which smaller bantamweight fighters move up a division in an attempt to challenge her. Meanwhile, Bellator MMA have been showcasing a number of female featherweight fights and have managed to create several new stars. The organization now has seven of the top ten ranked female featherweight fighters in the world under contract, including Talita Nogueira, Amanda Bell, Brittney Elkin and Gabby Holloway.
For fans who want to see a real featherweight division, filled with women who genuinely cannot comfortably compete at 135-pounds, Bellator MMA on SPIKE TV has definitely become a favorite.
– Click HERE to view the WMMA featherweight world rankings.
Upcoming Bellator MMA Featherweight Bouts
Sinead Kavanagh (4-2-0) VS Maria Casanova (2-5-0) at Bellator 187
Olga Rubin (3-0-0) VS Joana Filipa (0-0-0) at Bellator 188
#2 Julia Budd (10-2-0) VS #3 Arlene Blencowe (10-6-0) at Bellator 189
#10 Alexis Dufresne (6-3-0) VS Amber Leibrock (2-1-0) at Bellator 189