Bellator MMA made it official, as Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd will square off at Bellator 174 for the inaugural female featherweight title.
The event takes place March 3 from the Winstar World Casino Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma and airs live on Spike.
Below is a press release:
Two of the best women’s featherweights in the world, Marloes Coenen (23-7) and Julia Budd (9-2), will meet on March 3 to determine the undisputed 145-pound champion inside WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, OK.
“Bellator 174: Coenen vs. Budd” will be broadcast live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App. Tickets for the event go on sale Friday, January 13 and can be purchased at the WinStar World Casino & Resort Box Office, as well as Ticketmaster and Bellator.com. Additional contests will be announced in coming weeks.
Coenen strung together a remarkable start to her professional career, recording victories in each of her first eight bouts and 13 of her first 14. The Dutch submission specialist has since continued along her impressive path, tallying 23 career wins, including 20 finishes. Now, the 35-year-old will look to build off of a pair of victories under the Bellator MMA banner and bring home the first ever Bellator MMA Women’s Featherweight World Title, adding to a mantel that already includes a Strikeforce Bantamweight Title. With 30 career fights under her belt, the most glaring advantage for “Rumina” will be her experience, as her opponent comes in having made only 11 professional appearances inside the cage.
Budd enters the contest on March 3 riding a seven-fight winning streak and has recorded victories in each of her first three fights under the direction of Bellator MMA. The former Strikeforce competitior has surrendered just two losses over her seven-year career, one at the hands of former Strikeforce Champion Ronda Rousey and one to the current UFC bantamweight world champion, Amanda Nunes. The 33-year-old Canadian has not suffered a defeat since 2011, making her one of the most prolific athletes in Bellator MMA’s 145-pound division. “The Jewel” will be in search of her first career world title, while looking to prevent the former Strikeforce world champion from collecting her second.