Coenen Battles Budd For Inaugural Bellator Women's Featherweight Title

Jake Walker

Friday, March 3, 2017 4:01 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 3, 2017 4:01 PM UTC

Marloes Coenen (23-7) and Julia Budd (9-2) will headline Bellator 174 at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma to determine who becomes the company’s first Women's Featherweight champion. Read on for our MMA pick.

Coenen & Budd Meet at Last

This event takes place on March 3 and it will be broadcast live and free on Spike TV at 9 PM ET. This bout was booked for last May but Budd suffered an injury and was replaced by Alexis Dufresne, who went on to submit Coenen in the first round in one of the biggest upsets of the year. Budd is at -165 on the MMA odds board and Coenen is at +135. 

"Rumina" Coenen has been a women's featherweight division fighter for quite some time and she even held the Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight championship at one point. Now the Dutch fighter looks to bounce back from the loss to Dufresne. The start of her professional career was impressive, as she won eight straight fights and 13 of her first 14. The 35-year-old, who specializes in submission fighting, now has 23 wins with 20 finishes (17 submissions) and she is 2-1 in Bellator. 


Experience vs. Dominance 

Coenen's advantage coming into this fight is her experience. She has 30 fights in her career while Julia "The Jewel" Budd has only 11 professional fights under her belt. Budd has won her last seven fights though, including a 3-0 record after her first three Bellator fights. 

The 33-year-old Budd has competed at Strikeforce and Invicta FC as well and is 9-2 in her seven-year career. She even beat current UFC Women's Featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie. 

One of her losses came via knockout against current UFC Women's Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes on January 7, 2011 and the other one was against former UFC & Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey via submission due to an armbar on November 18, 2011. Budd has not lost since and she has become one of Bellator's most recognized fighters.

Now "The Jewel" is after her first career world title while trying to prevent Coenen from winning her second. Coenen might have more experience but Budd has faced tougher competition and her Bellator run has been dominant, although experts and fans don't consider her fights too exciting. Still, she's been able to get the job done and she's more battle-tested than Coenen despite having way less experience.

Julia Budd's other advantage is her size, which could help her pick apart Marloes Coenen from the outside and put her on her back. It might not be pretty but it can be effective, just like Budd's usual victories. I'm taking Julia Budd to become Bellator's first Women's Featherweight champion with my MMA picks.  

Free Bellator Pick: Budd -165
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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