Bellator 174: Julia Budd Becomes Bellator’s Inaugural Featherweight Champ; Marloes Coenen Retires (photos)

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Bellator 174: Julia Budd Becomes Bellator's Inaugural Featherweight Champ; Marloes Coenen Retires (photos)

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Julia Budd (10-2) defeated Marloes Coenen (23-8) via TKO (punches) at 2:42 of round four

Quotes: “I have dreamt about this moment forever. When I was 21 and first started kickboxing, I dreamt about being a champion and I didn’t make it, I lost.” Budd said. “So, this is my dream come true. The moment I signed with Bellator, I saw all the champions up there on the banners and I said to myself that i want to be up there with them some day. Now it feels like everything has come together.”

“Theres only one message that I want to give out to all the fighters out there and that’s please listen to your body. I’m very proud of all the women in MMA and I’m very grateful for Bellator,” Coenen said. “This company picked me up when I was in a dark place and Scott Coker has given me so many opportunities throughout my career. Bellator MMA will always be my home.”

Fernando Gonzalez (26-14) defeated Brandon Girtz (14-6) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-26)

Quote: “Everything I thought was going to happen tonight, happened. Every time he was going to go for a take down, I wanted to make him pay for it.” Gonzalez said. “I had to keep him busy and make him scramble. My plan was to box with him and then keep him away with the leg kicks. I wanted to make him work and get him tired and it proved to be effective in the third round. My next fight, I want Andrey Koreshkov. He is one of the best and Bellator’s former champion. I think I will win that fight, which will put me right in line with Douglas Lima next.”

Justin Wren (13-2) defeated Roman Pizzolato (8-9) via submission (arm triangle) at 2:35 of round one

Quote: “I’m so grateful for Bellator and Spike to be able to come out here, do what I love and perform. But, for me, it’s about so much more than the competition, it’s all about knocking some dude out, so that we can knock out the water crisis with my team out there in the Congo,” Wren said. “They are so incredible. I just train them and put the tools in their hands. They are much better fighters than I ever could be in this cage, so I want to be as good as I can, so that I can give them a voice.”

Rafael Lovato Jr. (5-0) defeated Charles Hackman (4-5) via TKO at 0:13 of round one

Quote: “I was completely prepared for this fight and had an incredible camp,” Lovato Jr. said. “I’m just so happy and thankful to be with Bellator now. I’m so excited about my future, so let’s ride this wave.

Preliminary Card Results/Photos:
Justin Patterson (9-1) defeated Jason Witt (7-4) via TKO at 0:13 of round three
Gabrielle Holloway (6-5) defeated Alexis Dufresne (6-3) via TKO at 2:53 of round two
Emily Ducote (5-2) defeated Katy Collins (6-2) via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:53 of round one
Emmanuel Rivera (6-0) defeated Treston Thomison (10-5) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 2x)
Cody Pfister (13-6-1) defeated Jonathan Gary (12-8-2) via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:04 of round one

Quote: “Jonathan Gary is a class act, a great guy, and I’m glad that I had the chance to compete against him tonight. My retirement caught a lot of people by surprise,” Pfister said. “I’m going to take time off to focus on other aspirations, but who knows, maybe I’ll be back. Bellator is a class company and I’m honored that my last fight will be with them. Scott Coker and Bellator know how to take care of the fighters and I really like what they’ve done with the company.”

About The Author

MMA H.E.A.T. is a headline-making production company dedicated to covering the emerging sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Hosted by FOX Sports anchor and former CNN anchor, Karyn Bryant, our content ranges from intimate fighter interviews, to event coverage (UFC, Bellator, WSOF, RUFF), to technique instruction and beyond. Success in MMA is the result of four core elements: Heart. Endurance. Aggression. Technique.™ Our unique magazine style series celebrates all of these pieces of the MMA fighting puzzle in a way that fans love. MMA H.E.A.T. is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and operates worldwide through partnerships and affiliates. It was co-founded by Wade Eck and Karyn Bryant.

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