Bellator Will Crown Women’s Flyweight Champ Before UFC

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Bellator MMA has added another fight to the upcoming Bellator 186 card and it’s a historic one. The promotion will crown its first female 125-pound champion at the event.

On Tuesday, Bellator President Scott Coker told ESPN.com that Ilima Macfarlane (6-0) is slated to take on Emily Ducote (6-2) at the event. This will be a rematch of their December 2016 bout at Bellator 167. Macfarlane won the duo’s first meeting via unanimous decision.

Macfarlane has fought once since that win. Back in April at Bellator 178, she submitted Jessica Middleton via first-round armbar. This marked her sixth straight victory and fifth career stoppage. Following the loss to Macfarlane, Ducote has fought twice for Bellator. 

Bellator’s rival, the UFC, will crown its own 125-pound female champion in December with the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter 26. The reality show will determine the inaugural champion of the UFC’s newest female weight class by way of a tournament.

Bellator 186 is slated to take place on November 3rd at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The preliminary card will air online while the main card will air on Spike TV. Ryan Bader vs. Linton Vassell for a light heavyweight title will serve as the main event. Although the fight card has yet to be finalized, here is the updated lineup:

Ryan Bader © vs. Linton Vassell – for light heavyweight title
Emily Ducote vs. Ilima MacFarlane – for inaugural women’s flyweight title
Phil Davis vs. TBA
Ed Ruth vs. TBA
Saad Awad vs. Zach Freeman