Julia Budd is training for the biggest bout of her professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career. Budd will be competing for the inaugural Bellator women’s featherweight championship on March 3. Her opponent will be former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title holder Marloes Coenen.
The match-up was supposed to take place last year. Budd went down with an injury and Coenen ended up facing Alexis Dufresne. Coenen suffered an upset submission loss.
“The Jewel” was a recent guest on the Cage Side Submissions podcast. She said she pondered who she would fight next if she got past Arlene Blencowe:
“I’m so excited. It’s something that I’ve been preparing for years. I’m just so excited to have the opportunity. When Alexis beat her last year it was kinda– I didn’t know who I would be fighting. I just knew that I had to win my fight against Arlene in October and then see who I’d be facing this year.”
When it came to the women’s featherweight division, Gina Carano was the first breakthrough star. When she was defeated by Cris Cyborg, the Brazilian bruiser became the center of attention.
With Megan Anderson’s stock rising, Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie fighting for a title, and Bellator’s inaugural championship bout, the focus is being spread to more athletes than ever before in the division. Budd welcomes the acknowledgement.
“I think that it’s actually awesome. It’s bringing more attention to our division. I think it’s great. I can’t wait to see who wins out of Germaine and Holly on the 11th and I’m just looking to be the Bellator 145-pound champ. That’s where my eyes are set right now. But I think that it’s good. I think that it’s awesome that Invicta just crowned an interim champ and it’s just the more attention the better to our division.”