On Friday, March 3, Bellator MMA hosted its 174th event from the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla.
In the night’s main event, the promotion crowned its inaugural women’s featherweight champion as former Strikeforce titleholder Marloes Coenen took on Canada’s Julia Budd.
The 35-year-old Coenen is one of the sport’s pioneers, having competed since 2000. Along the way, she’s faced some of the sport’s biggest names, including former Strikeforce and UFC champion Miesha Tate and current Invicta FC champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. The Dutchwoman was looking to bounce back from a shocking upset loss to UFC veteran Alexis Dufresne in a catchweight bout last May.
Like Coenen, Budd is also a veteran of Strikeforce and Invicta FC. She entered the title match-up having won seven straight, including three in a row inside the Bellator cage. Budd’s only career losses have come against former UFC champion Ronda Rousey and current UFC titleholder Amanda Nunes.
The action kicked off Friday with a live preliminary card stream on Combat Press at 7 p.m. ET. The night’s main card aired on Spike TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET.