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Bellator 174: Budd pounds out Coenen to win inaugural featherweight crown

The illustrious career of Dutch superstar Marloes Coenen (23-8-0) came to an end last night at the main event of Bellator 174 in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

Facing Canadian Julia Budd (10-2-0) for the inaugural Bellator women’s featherweight belt, Coenen was forced to constantly defend on the ground.

Coenen tried to look for armbars and triangles in the first round, but Budd matched her manuevers. Round two was more of the same, this time with Budd in side control and north-and-south positions against the cage.

In the third round, Budd increasingly added groundstrikes and elbows, forcing Coenen to cover up. A standup by referee John McCarthy midway failed to generate any momentum.

Budd ultimately secured full mount in the fourth after a brief exchange on the feet and takedown. Although Coenen was defending herself, the unanswered strikes forced McCarthy to call the bout at 2:42 of the fourth round.

Coenen, who turns 36 on March 31, will be remembered not only for her fights against Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, but for headlining  Invicta FC’s first event back in 2012, winning the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight belt, amoung others.

Budd becomes the first Canadian female fighter to hold a major women’s MMA championship.

In other bouts:

Justin Patterson def Jason Witt via TKO R4 0:13

Gabrielle Holloway def Alexis Dufresne via TKO R2 2:53

Emily Ducote def Katy Collins via submission R1 4:53

Cody Pfister def Jonathan Gary via submission R1 4:04

Emmanuel Rivera def Treston Thomison via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Rafael Lovato Jr. def Charles Hackmann via TKO R1 0:13

Justin Wren def Roman Pizzolato via submission R1 2:35

Fernando Gonzalez def Brandon Girtz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-26)

Julia Budd def Marloes Coenen via TKO R4 2:42


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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