Bellator Targets 125-Pound Women's Tournament For 2012A Bellator Fighting Championships 125-pound women’s tournament is in the works for 2012. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney discussed the tournament with today, but reaffirmed that planning remains in early stages and the tournament may not take place until Bellator’s seventh season.

Rebney is currently focused on bringing attention back to Bellator’s female fighters by showcasing women’s fights on television or on preliminary cards streaming online. Bellator season six could still feature the 4- or 8-woman tournament, but may now be used to build towards it later in the year.

Recent Bellator signee Jessica “Evil” Eye (4-1-0) has been heavily rumoured as a participant in the planned tournament for weeks, and her Strong Style teammate Chris Lozano confirmed that she will take part in the competition when he appeared on The MMA Show with Mauro Ranallo on Tuesday.

Rebney sees tremendous potential in Eye, but feels that it would be best if Eye is able to get a few more fights under her belt before competing in a tournament that could feature experienced fighters such as Bellator’s 115-pound women’s champion Zoila “The Warrior Princess” Gurgel (11-1-0), Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii (24-1-0), Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton (12-2-0) and Jessica “Jag” Aguilar (11-4-0).

As a result, Rebney leaves open the possibility that Bellator’s next season, its sixth, could feature a number of female “superfights” that introduce new fighters to Bellator viewers in advance of a season seven tournament later in the year. If the tournament does proceed as rumoured in season six, which is expected to kick off in Spring 2012, it could feature either four or eight participants. The tournament format will be determined once a timetable is officially confirmed.

“Based on where we’re at right now, [the tournament] would be something that would take place during season six,” Rebney says. “We’re pretty happy about the Zoila [Gurgel] versus Carina [Damm] fight that is coming up on November 12th up in Rama, Ontario because it gets the ladies back on television and that’s terrific.

“Jessica [Eye] looked great for us in her fight in Canton,” he adds. “I think she has tremendous promise and amazing potential, but with the Megumis of the world, the Zoilas of the world, the Rosis and the Jessica Aguilars, [Eye] still has to keep training before she’s ready for the fights in that realm. So we are still trying to figure out how to do [the tournament] and whether it will feature four ladies or eight because of the difficulty of getting eight world-class fighters together at 125 pounds.”

Rebney notes that Bellator is most concerned with establishing the best way to hold the tournament. Recent injuries to both Aguilar and Fujii prevented the promotion from booking them in rematches with Gurgel, and ensuring that all athletes are at 100% is a top priority. Similarly, Rebney does not want to rush into a tournament or bring fighters in before they are ready.

He again cites Eye as an example of a fighter who needs time to develop by taking more fights against progressively tougher opposition, rather than jumping right in against the likes of Gurgel or Fujii.

In Bellator’s first women’s tournament in 2010, part of the eight-woman field was comprised of Bellator newcomers who had not yet had an opportunity to compete in televised bouts for the promotion. With now streaming Bellator undercard bouts, female fighters who are part of untelevised fights (like Eye at Bellator 51) are still able to compete in front of a large viewing audience and will be better known to Bellator fans by the time a tournament kicks off next year.

Rebney also addressed recent comments from Aguilar, who stated publicly that she was no longer interested in fighting any higher than 120 pounds, at most. As the 2012 tournament, as well as the proposed rematch with Gurgel, is targeted for 125 pounds, Aguilar would be required to move up in weight to take part in one or both.

“I know that Jessica [Aguilar] wants that fight [with Gurgel] very badly so we’ll see,” Rebney says. “I wouldn’t discount the possibility of Jessica moving north of 120 again. Obviously, she would be a key player for us in a 125-pound tournament and it would be disappointing if she missed out on it just because of not wanting to move up to 125, so we’ll talk about it.”


  1. So many lolz, so little time.

    I REALLY hope this happens….with the right Women involved

  2. About damn time.

  3. So… Jag and Fujii will be moving up?

    I’d like to see Tara get an invite.
    She would be my pick to win it all.

  4. Come on, no female tournament would be complete w/o Nana Ichikawa.

  5. The likes of gurgel?? get real , eye would smash her. Gurgel hasnt fought anyone her size in a min and when she did miesha beat her and ould would have if she didnt get injured. Eye is a stud. Sounds like a bunch of fanboys writing this

  6. You understand that those comments came from Bjorn Rebney, right? He wants to give Jessica time to develop her skills and build up a name in Bellator rather than putting her in against divisional elite right away. Jessica even said in her post-fight interview that she wants to take the slow route to the top and work her way there bit by bit, which seems like a very sensical plan.

  7. […] month, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed to that a women’s tournament at 125 pounds was targeted for an upcoming […]