Exclusive: Bellator Has Plans For Women's Championships In 2017

UFC isn't interested in a Women's Featherweight division, but its top rival is.

Fightful.com has learned that Bellator MMA has plans to institute a women's 145-pound Championship in early 2017. We spoke with top Bellator featherweight Julia Budd ahead of her Bellator 162 fight with Arlene Blencrowe later this month, and she spilled the beans about what she knows thus far. She also revealed that she pitched a tournament to the company, which didn't end up happening.

"We were supposed to fight for the 145 pound title this year. The plan is that early into the new year for that opportunity," said Budd . "We were gunning for a tournament in the fall. We were asking the match makers to put like a four-woman tournament together for the fall. They didn't go for it. I think it's for sure going to happen. I know Marloes (Coenen) is fighting soon after me. Me and Arlene (Blencrowe) both want that opportunity for the title. We'll be going hard on October 21."

Other fighters in Bellator's featherweight division include the aforementioned Marloes Coenen, Talita Nogueira, Adrienna Jenkins, Annalisa Bucci and Alexis Dufresne.

Scott Coker admitted earlier this year that plans were in motion to crown flyweight and featherweight champions in 2016, but that didn't end up happening.

This wouldn't be the first women's champion Bellator has crowned. Zoila Gurgel became the promotion's Strawweight champion in 2010. She would vacate it in February of 2013 when she signed with Invicta FC, without ever defending the title.

Bellator 162 takes place on October 21 from the Fedex Forum in Memphis, and features Budd, Bobby Lashley, Kevin Ferguson Jr., Ryan Couture, Kendall Grove, and Alexander Shlemenko

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