Former friends turned rivals Felice “Lil’ Bulldog” Herrig and Michele “Diablita” Gutierrez will face off for a second time at Bellator Fighting Championships 84 on December 14th in Hammond, Indiana. The rematch was officially announced earlier today and will be contested at 115 pounds.
Herrig and Gutierrez first clashed in Gutierrez’s pro debut in November 2009. Herrig prevailed via Unanimous Decision and has won six of her eight bouts since then. Gutierrez is currently looking to rebound from a decision loss to Sarah “KO Kid” Maloy on the inaugural Invicta FC card in late April.
Herrig (7-4-0) struggled early in her MMA career after transitioning from Muay Thai competition, but she has enjoyed considerable success over the past two years and has shown steady improvement in her ground game with each passing fight. Herrig has made three appearances for the Florida-based Xtreme Fighting Championships promotion since December and is coming off of back-to-back victories under the XFC banner. Her most impressive performance to date came in a one-sided Unanimous Decision win over “Little” Patricia Vidonic at XFC 17 in May. She most recently outstruck Simona Soukupova en route to another decision victory in August and now makes her return to Bellator for the first time in over two and a half years.
Gutierrez (3-3-0) bounced back strong following the loss to Herrig in 2009 and won each of her next three fights. The streak included a pair of TKO stoppages and a decision victory over fellow Invicta FC 1 competitor “Sassy” Cassie Rodish. In May 2011, Gutierrez appeared to be well on her way to another TKO victory over Amanda “Red Fox” LaVoy until a knee from LaVoy opened a huge gash on the side of Gutierrez’s forehead and forced the cageside doctor to call a stop to the fight. It was nearly a year before Gutierrez returned to the cage and she was uncharacteristically passive in her Invicta FC bout with Maloy. Now looking to get back to her winning ways, a motivated Gutierrez will make her Bellator debut in the December bout.
Herrig and Gutierrez struck up a friendship when both were under the same management following their appearances in the Supremacy MMA video game, but have since had a falling out and once again find themselves on a collision course. Herrig has a chance to pick up her second victory over her rival that would leave no doubt as to whom the superior fighter is. Gutierrez, who drops down to 115 pounds for the fight, can make a big statement in the strawweight division with a win over the top ten-ranked Herrig.
Bellator Fighting Championships 84 takes place on December 14th at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.
(Photo Credit: Xtreme Fighting Championships)