With news yesterday of former Bellator fighters Felice Herrig and Jessica Eye leaving the organization for other opportunities, that left just Jessica Aguilar on the company's roster of female fighters. Aguilar would eventually be released herself, effectively dissolving Bellator's Women's MMA division. Tuesday night, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney released an official statement on the matter:
"Jessica Eye, Jessica Aguilar and Felice represent all that is good in women's MMA," Rebney stated. "Both Eye and Aguilar are ranked No. 1 in the world in their respective divisions and carry themselves with class and distinction elevating the women's game. I've said many times that fighters need to fight and fight often. Given our current focus, we are not in position to provide these very deserving women regular and reoccurring fights on a large platform. And, I felt it was best to let them go and secure options that did. I genuinely wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors and will be rooting for each of them wherever they fight."
As we reported yesterday, Herrig has signed an exclusive agreement to join Invicta FC's strawweight (115lbs) division while Eye and Aguilar assumedly field offers from multiple promotions. While the ability to compete at 135lbs makes landing in the UFC an option for Eye, Aguilar seems likely to join Herrig as part of Invicta's growing strawweight division.
With 25 events in the books during 2012 and another 25 on the docket for 2013 it would seem the promotion certainly has enough events to accommodate a Women's division.
- From March to May 2012 Bellator held 11 events with 103 fights for an average of 9.4 fights per event, only three of which featured women.
- From June to December 2012 Bellator held 14 events with 137 fights for an average of 9.8 fights per event, only four of which featured women.
- From January to July 2013 Bellator held 11 events with 140 fights for an average of 12.7 fights per event, only three of which featured women.
That would mean of the past 36 Bellator events consisting of 380 fights only 10 of them were in a Women's division, just a hair more than 2%.
*Editor's note: If you notice anything out of place with the math please just let me know politely in the comments or via Twitter and I'll correct. Thanks.
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