Leslie Smith has her first fight set under the Bellator MMA banner after having a run in the UFC.
Smith is slated to meet Ireland’s Sinead Kavanagh in a women’s featherweight bout at the upcoming Bellator 224 event. Bellator confirmed the fight booking to MMA Fighting. It was suggested that the fight will take place on the event’s preliminary card.
Smith was supposed to fight women’s bantamweight competitor Aspen Ladd at UFC Fight Night 128. However, Ladd missed weight by 1.8 pounds for her preliminary card contest. As a result, Smith turned the fight down. The UFC reacted in a weird way, as they decided to pay Smith her show money and win bonus for the event.
With the fight being the last on her contract, the promotion decided not to extend her deal. Smith had filed a complaint against Zuffa, the UFC’s parent company at the time, over unfair labor practices. In the complaint, she was alleging that the promotion terminated her employment to retaliate due to her efforts with Project Spearhead.
Smith signed with Bellator in April as she looks to extend her two-fight win streak following wins over Amanda Lemos and Irene Aldana. On the flip side, Kavanagh (5-3-0) is coming off a TKO loss to Janay Harding. She’s 2-3 under the Bellator banner since her debut in December of 2012.
Bellator 224 is set to take place on July 12, 2019, at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The preliminary card will air online at 7:00 p.m. EST while the main card will air on Paramount Network and DAZN at 9:00 p.m. EST.
Julia Budd looks to defend her Bellator women’s featherweight title against Olga Rubin in the main event. The Viacom-owned promotion will be announcing more bouts for this upcoming event in the coming weeks.