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Former UFC title challenger Liz Carmouche signs with Bellator MMA

Liz Carmouche is officially part of the Bellator roster, according to company president Scott Coker,

Liz Carmouche MMA News Bellator Scott Cocker UFC Ilima-Lei MacFarlane Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Liz Carmouche was dropped suddenly by the UFC, but she has landed in the arms of Bellator.

Carmouche (13-7) has officially signed a contract with Bellator, according to company president Scott Coker — per The Athletic’s Josh Gross. It was announced on Dec. 6 that Carmouche had been released by the UFC. It was an odd series of events, as Carmouche was blindsided with the release while representing the company at an official UFC publicity event.

Reigning Bellator women’s flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane immediately called for Carmouche to join her in Bellator. Carmouche was one of Macfarlane’s first coaches and the two are regular training partners. In fact, both parties have expressed interest in fighting one another.

“That is my dream fight. Everybody always asks what my dream fight is and it’s always been Liz,” Macfarlane told Bloody Elbow. “It has always been my dream to fight her for the belt and retire after that fight. It’s a win-win almost. If she wins, then yes, I was her student. It was a mentor-student fight. She beat me, she won the belt, she’s amazing, I retire. But if I want, it’s like she passed the torch down.”

“We beat the s—t out of each other everyday anyway. It wouldn’t be very different,” she expressed. “We would try to kill each other. We would be doing each other and the sport a disservice if we didn’t try to tear each other’s heads off.”

Carmouche is coming off a unanimous decision loss to UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. MacFarlane (10-0) defends her title against Kate Jackson at Bellator 236 on Saturday, Dec. 21.