Bellator will be returning to Oklahoma with a pair of intriguing bouts as Julia Budd faces Talita Nogueira and Eduardo Dantas takes on Michael McDonald.
Bellator will be going back to the mid-west with an impressive double-header in Thackerville, Oklahoma on July 13. In the main event, featherweight champion Julia Budd will look for her tenth straight victory as she faces dangerous contender Talita Nogueira. Also, bantamweight stand-outs Eduardo Dantas and Michael McDonald will collide in a bout with serious title implications.
Women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd will be looking to make a second defense of her title after retaining the belt last year in a split-decision against Arlene Blencowe in December. Budd is on a nine fight win-streak going back to 2012. She made her Bellator debut in 2015 and won the inaugural women’s championship last March. Notably, she defeated Strikeforce and Invicta FC veteran Marloes Coenen as well as Australian powerhouse Blencowe (twice) during her run.
Budd has suffered defeat only twice: at the hands of Ronda Rousey and current UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Both came within her first year of being a professional. In recent years she has emerged as the best featherweight in the world behind Cris “Cyborg” Justino and last year drew interest as there were rumors that Cyborg could make the move to Bellator.
Talita Nogueira is a undefeated grappler who is best known for being the winner of the 2011 Brazilian jiu-jitsu world championships. Nogueira made her MMA debut in 2009 and has finished all seven of her opponents, five of those victories by submission. She made her Bellator debut last year with rousing first round submission of Amanda Bell.
In the co-main event, former bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas meets young stand-out Michael McDonald. A veteran of the promotion since 2011, Dantas holds an impressive 20-5 mark that includes winning both the Bellator title and the Shooto 132 lb title. Dantas defended the title once before losing it last October to current champion Darrion Caldwell.
After being touted as one of the brightest up-and-coming prospects in the sport, McDonald had a tumultuous 2017 as he parted ways with the UFC after being treated “very dishonestly and disrespectfully.” McDonald had also discussed that after dealing with injuries and subsequent layoffs that he was struggling to fund his training camps to continue competing in MMA. He made his Bellator debut last year with a unanimous decision victory over Peter Ligier in December. It is expected that the winner of Dantas and McDonald would be on the short list of contenders for the championship toward the end of 2018.
Stay tuned to CagesidePress.com as more bouts are announced for Bellator 202.