Holly Holm and Joanna Jędrzejczyk are recognized as the best in UFC women’s MMA today. “JJ” made a name for herself when she defeated Carla Esparza at UFC 185: Pettis vs. dos Anjos in March of 2015. Jędrzejczyk, a fighter who specializes in Muay Thai and boxing, lit up Esparza, who couldn’t get close enough to utilize her wrestling. Esparza was eventually TKO’d in the second round making Jędrzejczyk the new UFC women’s strawweight champion.
The story of “The Preacher’s Daughter” is similar. Holm defeated Ronda Rousey at UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm back in November of 2015. Holm, a former boxing champion, humiliated Rousey, a former Judo champion, for two rounds, ending it with a KO victory after Rousey ate a brutal head kick.
Though the aforementioned women are making waves in women’s MMA, they have the peculiar detail of being signed only to UFC. Scott Coker, the president of Bellator MMA, realizes the potential of women’s MMA and is doing his best to incorporate it into his promotion. Coker recently announced Bellator MMA will crown its first women’s champions in 2016. However, they will be for the women’s flyweight and featherweight divisions.
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To be fair, building up a women’s flyweight and featherweight division is a very smart move made by Scott Coker. For starters, if he tried to start women’s MMA in Bellator MMA with a strawweight and bantamweight division, he’d be in direct competition with UFC. That would have been a terrible move, given how built up those divisions are in UFC. By going the flyweight and featherweight route, he isn’t just diversifying women’s MMA among the top promotions, but making two divisions exclusive for the time being.
Right now, the institution of a women’s flyweight and featherweight division by crowing champions is in its initial stages. However, Scott Coker did make a statement that MMA fans will see this plan come to fruition.
“That’s definitely in the plans. We’re committed. You’re going to see champions in both weight classes.”
“We’re aggressively signing talent at 125 pounds. Things have to play out a bit, but by the summer, we should be in position start the process on crowning a champion.”
The only hindrance to Marloes Coenen fighting Julia Budd for the women’s featherweight title at the moment is Coenen’s injury. Once Coenen is healed up, her desire for Bellator MMA to host a women’s championship fight, as reported by MMA Junkie, will come true.
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