clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bellator signs former UFC title challenger, Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann

Bellator is adding McMann to its featherweight division. 

Sara McMann after UFC Raleigh.
Sara McMann after UFC Raleigh.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Sara McMann is Bellator-bound.

Ariel Helwani reports McMann signed a multi-fight contract with the promotion and joined its featherweight division. Bellator and McMann have since confirmed the signing via press release.

“I am thrilled to have joined Bellator,” said McMann. “Bellator has the deepest roster at women’s featherweight, and I look forward to tough scraps with these ladies. I want to thank the Bellator team, especially Mike Kogan and Scott Coker, for putting together such an outstanding offer, and I’d like to thank many Bellator fighters, including Cris Cyborg, for their collective support and encouragement. Everything about this feels right, and I am grateful and looking forward to 2023!”

The report comes after the one-time bantamweight title challenger completed her most recent contract with the UFC. Her final fight was supposed to be against Aspen Ladd at UFC Vegas 60 this past September, but Ladd missed weight, and both fighters were removed from the event.

A divisional staple, McMann was one of the first women to compete inside the Octagon after their introduction in 2013. Her UFC debut was against Sheila Gaff, who she defeated by first-round TKO at UFC 159 over nine years ago.

McMann challenged then-UFC champion Ronda Rousey at UFC 170, where she suffered the first loss of her professional career. The Olympic silver medalist rebounded with a split decision against Lauren Murphy, but fell short in her next two fights with Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes, respectively.

As her UFC career continued, McMann remained a contender and earned wins over the likes of Jessica Eye, Alexis Davis and Lina Länsberg. In her most recent appearance, the 42-year-old returned to the win column with a unanimous decision over Karol Rosa at UFC Columbus this past March.

McMann leaves the UFC with a record of 7-6.