In August of 2013 Bellator MMA officially dropped their women’s division, releasing Jessica Aguilar, Jessica Eye and Felice Herrig. Two of the aforementioned women now compete in the UFC, and with WMMA’s popularity growing with every successive event, Bellator has decided to bring them back into the fold.
With Scott Coker taking over for Bjorn Rebney as Bellator’s President, he promised to make big fights that “move the needle”. This week rumors were running rampant that Coker and Bellator snatched Gina Carano away from the UFC’s grasps to sign her to fight former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen.
While the Carano signing has yet to be announced or confirmed, today Bellator officially announced the signing of Coenen and Julia Budd. From Bellator:
Bellator MMA has reestablished the women’s division with two of MMA’s top featherweights leading the forefront. Finding previous success in the female MMA game, Bellator President Scott Coker has added Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd to the roster to start the next era of the Bellator women’s division.
Scott Coker discussed why he brought back the women’s division to Bellator as well:
We’re incredibly excited to bring in two of the best athletes competing in our sport today. We are making a commitment to bring back the female division to Bellator, and feature some of the world’s best in the Bellator cage.
The official press release stated that Budd and Coenen will face off against one another later this year on a to be determined card.