Marloes Coenen will now meet Alexis Dufresne at Bellator 155, the promotion announced Tuesday.
Coenen was set to square off with Julia Budd for the inaugural female featherweight belt, but an injury has knocked Budd out of the contest.
Coenen (23-6) and Dufresne (5-2) will anchor the online coverage of the card on May 20 from the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. The bout will now be for the title.
Below is the complete press release and current fight card:
Due to injury, Julia Budd (8-2) has been forced to withdraw from her inaugural Bellator MMA Women’s Featherweight Championship Bout against Marloes Coenen (23-6). As a result, Alexis Dufresne (5-2) will take her place and challenge Coenen during the featured preliminary contest of “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, on May 20.
The fight joins a card that already features a colossal Middleweight World Championship main event, in which Rafael Carvalho (12-1) defends his belt against the fiery Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef (30-12-1). In addition, former Bellator MMA featherweight titlist Pat Curran (21-7) will return to action for the first time since June, when he faces the resilient Georgi Karakhanyan (24-5-1) in the card’s co-main event. The last two men to challenge for Will Brooks’ lightweight title, Marcin Held (21-4) and Dave Jansen (20-3) will also be in action. Rounding out the televised portion of the event will be two heavyweight fights, when Dan Charles (10-3) meets Augusto Sakai (9-0) and Joey Beltran (17-12) takes on Chase Gormley (12-5).
Tickets for “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” start at just $25 and are on sale now at Bellator.com, the CenturyLink Arena Box Office or CenturyLinkArenaBoise.com. The event airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while the can’t-miss preliminary card airs live on Bellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App.
A former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Marloes Coenen, is riding a two-fight winning streak and undefeated record under the Bellator MMA fray into her bout with Dufresne. “Rumina” began her career winning eight consecutive fights and 13 of her first 14. The 35-year-old has been competing professionally since 2000 and has been an integral part of the progression of women’s mixed martial arts, challenging some of the best that the sport has to offer. Now, it’s back to the drawing board for the Dutch submission specialist when she looks to spoil the Bellator MMA debut of Alexis Dufresne.
The 25-year-old Alexis Dufresne began her career with a blazing start, earning victories in her first five scraps, all of which she ended in the first round. Born in Temecula, Calif., “Sneaky Zebra” has strung together an impressive resume, including three straight first round knockout wins dating back to her 2013-14 seasons and most recently two appearances for the UFC. Dufresne will be making her Bellator MMA debut next Friday and hopes to get back to her winning ways when she fills in for the absent Julia Budd on short notice.
Complete “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” Fight Card
Bellator MMA Middleweight World Title Fight: Rafael Carvalho (12-1) vs. Melvin Manhoef (30-12-1)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Co-Main Event: Pat Curran (21-7) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (24-5-1)
Bellator MMA Heavyweight Feature Bout: Dan Charles (10-3) vs. Augusto Sakai (9-0)
Bellator MMA Lightweight Feature Bout: Dave Jansen (20-3) vs. Marcin Held (21-4)
Bellator MMA Heavyweight Feature Bout: Joey Beltran (17-12) vs. Chase Gormley (12-5)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Marloes Coenen (23-6) vs. Alexis Dufresne (5-2)
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Joe Hamilton (3-0) vs. Tyler Freeland (3-0)
Bellator MMA Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Veta Arteaga (1-0) vs. Jackie Vandenburgh (0-1)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Vince Morales (3-1) vs. Hamilton Ash (3-1)
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Brendon Raftery (4-2) vs. Casey Johnson (4-0)
Bellator MMA Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Scott Thometz (9-5) vs. Josh Tyler (7-3)
Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Sean Powers (9-5) vs. Will Noland (15-6)
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Ricky Steele (5-0) vs. Erick Cronkhite (2-1)
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Jesse Brock (21-8) vs. Olly Bradstreet (39-12)