145lb featherweight veterans Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd are set to square off for Bellator MMA’s inaugural women’s featherweight title at Bellator 174 on March 3 in Thackerville, OK. The title fight is scheduled to headline the event, which will take place at the WinStar World Casino and Resort and air live on Spike.
The title bout was originally booked for last May, however, Budd was forced out of the fight due to an injury and replaced by Alexis Dufresne. Dufresne missed weight coming in as a lightweight at 150lbs, thus making the fight a non-title bout. She would go on to submit Coenen in the first round of their Bellator 155 fight, which was one of the biggest upsets of 2016.
Coenen (23-7), the former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion, was scheduled to return to action in November, but was pulled from the card once her opponent, Talita Nogueira, failed to make weight. She is currently the number two ranked featherweight fighter in the world.
Budd (9-2) has won her last seven fights in a row, including three straight in Bellator. Her last loss came in Nov. 2011 against Ronda Rousey. She is currently the number three ranked featherweight fighter in the world.
(Click HERE to view the 145lb featherweight rankings).
The title fight will come less than a month after the UFC crowns its first women’s featherweight champion at UFC 208.