Not to be outdone by the UFC Bellator MMA introduced their own women’s featherweight title with Julia Budd claiming the belt in a war over pioneer Marloes Coenen. Bellator 174 took place March 3rd at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK with an undercard webcast at Spike.com, main card broadcast on Spike TV.
Smothering ground-and-pound was Julia Budd’s strategy against Marloes Coenen in the main event. In round 1 Coenen managed to keep the fight standing for about a minute before Budd picked her up and slammed her down while Coenen’s submission attempts against the cage in that opening round were about the only offense Coenen managed to do. Rounds 2-4 played out the same with Budd slowly wearing down Coenen until in the fourth round Budd finally passed Coenen’s guard and unloaded a series of punches that caused the TKO. Not the most exciting main event but definitely effective for Budd. With the win Budd won the featherweight title as her record improved to 10-2 with eight wins in a row, Coenen fell to 23-8. After the fight Coenen announced her retirement from MMA ending a career that stretched back to literally the dawn of women’s MMA when she won the Remix Grand Prix in December 2000.
The co-main event played out just the opposite as Fernando Gonzalez nullified Brandon Girtz’ takedowns while scoring with punches. Girtz started off well taking Gonzalez down twice in the first round but he could not keep his opponent down. As the fight progressed Girtz paid for keeping his hands low as Gonzalez landed powerful straight jabs, hooks, uppercuts, and the occasional push kick racking up points en route to a unanimous decision. Gonzalez bounced back from his loss to Michael Page to pick up his sixth win in seven fights for a record of 26-14, Girtz who moved up from lightweight saw his record drop to 14-6 with this being his second loss in a row.
Also of note on the card was former LFC champion and Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Rafael Lovato Jr. defeating yet another late replacement Charles Hackmann. Seconds into the first round Lovato had Hackmann reeling from a head kick while two follow-up knees to the head of the retreating Hackmann caused the TKO at just 0:13 of the first round. Lovato’s MMA record is still unblemished at 5-0, Hackmann who deserves credit for taking on Lovato in short notice exited the cage 4-5. Lovato appeared to emerge with no effects from the fight, fortunate considering in six weeks he is set to face Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida in a superfight at the ADCC West Coast Trials April 15th.
Bellator returns on March 31st with a rematch between Quinton Jackson and Muhammed Lawal.
Bellator 174 results
- Justin Patterson def. Jason Witt 0:13 R3 by TKO
- Gabrielle Holloway def. Alexis Dufresne 2:53 R2 by TKO
- Emily Ducote def. Katy Collins 4:53 R1 by rear-naked choke
- Cody Pfister def. Jonathan Gary 4:04 R1 by rear-naked choke
- Emmanuel Rivera def. Treston Thomison by unanimous decision
- Rafael Lovato Jr. def. Charles Hackmann 0:13 R1 by TKO
- Justin Wren def. Roman Pizzolato 2:35 R1 by arm-triangle choke
- Fernando Gonzalez def. Brandon Girtz by unanimous decision
- WFW title: Julia Budd def. Marloes Coenen 2:42 R4 by TKO