Heather Hardy to Make MMA Debut in MSG

Note: This is a piece I wrote for Champions.

Like Luke Skywalker when he made the decision to become a jedi, professional boxer Heather Hardy is about to a step into a new world – in her case mixed martial arts – with her first professional MMA bout in June.

Hardy, who is from Brooklyn, signed with Bellator MMA and will compete in Madison Square Garden at Bellator 180, June 24. Her opponent is Alice Yauger. Both Bellator and Hardy confirmed both the signing and the fight.

To read the rest of the story, follow the link.

Welcome to Bellator MMA Valerie Letourneau

Note: This is a column I wrote for Champions

It’s official fight fans, longtime mixed martial arts Canadian competitor Valerie Letourneau is coming to #BellatorMMA.

After a week of speculation – partially fueled by Letourneau’s appearance at Bellator 178 – the promotion announced her as one of the several recently signed fighters who will compete in their women’s flyweight division. Letourneau confirmed the signing on Twitter.

To read the rest of the column, follow the link.

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is Ready for Bellator Title Bout

Note: This is a column I wrote for Champions

It looks as if Bellator MMA has its first women’s flyweight champion – or at least the first fighter who could compete in the promotion’s inaugural women’s 125-pound title bout.

At last night’s Bellator 177, the “Iliminator” Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defeated Jessica Middleton in the co-main event. (Watch the fight in the link)

Early in the first round, Macfarlane took Middleton down and worked her way to securing the armbar. Middleton tried to wiggle her way out of it, but she eventually tapped, suffering her first career loss in the process. The win boosts Macfarlane’s professional MMA record to 5-0 in the Bellator cage, 6-0 overall.

As for her next Bellator fight, the Iliminator made her intentions clear as far as championships are concerned.

To read the rest of the column, follow the link.

 

Invicta FC 23: Tiffany van Soest has opportunity to capture first MMA win

Tiffany van Soest has accomplished a lot in her combat sports career, but she has yet to capture her first professional mixed martial arts victory. That could all change on May 20 at Invicta FC 23.

At the event, which is headlined by a flyweight bout between former title challenger Vanessa Porto and undefeated prospect Agnieszka Niedźwiedź, van Soest will face Las Vegas native Christine Ferea in a strawweight bout.

This is an important fight for van Soest, one that could be the start of a great MMA run.

To read the rest of the story, follow the link.

Bellator MMA: Amanda Bell has opportunity to break through division

Note: This was a story I wrote for Creators.co

#BellatorMMA’s women’s featherweight division bolstered its ranks after singing journeywoman Amanda “The Lady Killer” Bell to a contract.

Bell, as well as Bellator confirmed the signing on Twitter. For those who have followed Bell’s career, as well as the Lady Killer herself, this is a pretty cool moment.

To read the rest of the story, follow the link.

Pearl Gonzalez has a good fight resume and great backstory

Note: This is a column I wrote for Champions.co before UFC 210.

UFC 210 hasn’t even started and there is already controversy surrounding the event – from light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier’s weigh in to former XFC flyweight champion Pearl Gonzalez, who almost missed her octagon debut because of the New York Athletic State Commission.

The commission scrapped Gonzalez’s strawweight bout against undefeated prospect Cynthia Calvillo because of Gonzalez’s breast implants. According to an article from MMA Junkie, the commission prohibits boxers from having breast implants and the organization was going to review her situation. Of course, the commission had to know because Gonzalez filled out her medical paperwork and submitted it before her fight.

The UFC never officially canceled the fight and Gonzalez was determined to make her octagon debut, which is a long time coming.

To read the rest of the story, follow the link.

Mackenzie Dern has the potential to be a star

Note: This is a column I wrote for Blasting News.

There’s been a lot of buzz in the media about #MMA prospect #Mackenzie Dern. Dern, a highly decorated Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner who transitioned to MMA in 2016, has been touted as the next “Ronda Rousey.” She’s currently 3-0 in her MMA career with wins over Kenia Rosas, Montana Stout and most recently, Katherine Roy, who she defeated at LFA 6 on March 10. Since Dern made her professional MMA debut, folks are wondering when she will come to the UFC. It might not be that long.

Mackenzie Dern on the UFC radar
In an interview with TMZ, UFC President Dana White confirmed that his promotion is checking out the MMA prospect and referred to her as “a little badass.” As much as fans like to give White guff, he is a fight fan and I’m not surprised that he’s a fan of her work. In an August interview with the MMA Hour, Dern said she would like to fight for a UFC title by the end of 2017. Although Dern has only competed in professional MMA for over a year, it wouldn’t surprise me to see her compete in a future UFC event. In the past, the promotion has brought in MMA fighters with little experience and thrust them in the spotlight.

To read the rest of the column, follow the link.