A controversial figure in the UFC has moved on. Leslie Smith, who was the leader of a fighter organization called Project Spearhead that hoped to unionize UFC combatants, was dumped by the UFC in unusual circumstances after a fight with Aspen Ladd went sideways last April. Now, she has signed with Bellator, and will fight as a featherweight.
Yahoo originally reported the news, before it was confirmed by Smith herself:
I am already feeling an entirely different sense of being a part of a promotion since the announcement of my signing with @BellatorMMA yesterday. For the messages of welcome from Bellator staff, fighters, and champions, thank you to everyone who has reached out!!!— Leslie Smith (@LeslieSmith_GF) April 17, 2019
Smith (10-7-1, 4-3 UFC) won her last two fights in the UFC, but had not stepped in the Octagon since July 2017. When Ladd missed weight for their April 2018 fight, Smith refused to fight at a catchweight. The UFC paid her a win bonus instead and considered that the last fight on her contract as a result, despite her offering to sign a new contract in the meantime.
Smith has competed once in Bellator before, way back in 2009 in her second professional bout when she dropped a decision to Kerry Vera.
An opponent and date of return have yet to be announced for Smith.