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.

Cris Justino vacating Invicta title is a good move

While Invicta Fighting Championships fans watched the promotion’s finest compete at Invicta FC 22, one of the organization’s titleholders has bowed out so to speak.

Invicta featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino announced via a video on her Youtube channel that she vacated the title. Invicta announced that interim featherweight champion Megan Anderson was promoted to undisputed 145 champion.

Not surprisingly, Justino set her sites on a clash with UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie – who became the first titleholder after she defeated former bantamweight queen Holly Holm – opportunity to add more gold to her impressive trophy case. Justino was formerly the Strikeforce women’s featherweight champion before she debuted for Invicta.

When the UFC announced they were creating their women’s 145 division – with the fight between de Randamie vs. Holm to determine the first champion – fans were peeved that Justino was not given the opportunity to become the inaugural champion. How dare the UFC create a women’s 145 title fight without the most dominant fighter in that division? Well fight fans, I’m sure it will be a matter of time before we see her fight for the belt, especially now that she’s no longer the Invicta champion.

To read the rest of the column, 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.

Invicta: Picks up Three Potential Stars to Bolster its Roster

Note: This is a column I wrote for DiMoro Sports.

As the days wind down to Invicta FC 22, which features the rematch between the promotion’s bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger and challenger Yana Kunitskaya, the organization brought in some new talent to bolster its roster.

In a news release, Invicta Fighting Championships announced it signed three new fighters to contracts, Milana Dudieva, Kelly Faszholz and Kelly D’Angelo.

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

Marloes Coenen rides off into the sunset

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

Bellator 174 saw Julia Budd take a big step in her career after she won the promotion’s women’s featherweight title. However, MMA fans also witnessed the last outing of a pioneer in the women’s division as #Marloes Coenen announced her retirement following her loss to Budd.

Coenen retires from mixed martial arts competition with a 23-8 record, including a 2-2 run inside the Bellator cage.

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