Category Archives: bellator wmma

Kristi Lopez Looking for Positive Result in Bellator Debut

Kristi Lopez is ready to get back in the mix this Friday as a part of Bellator 182 in Verona, New York. She will face Jessica Sotack for her overdue debut with Bellator, whom she signed a multi-fight contract with earlier this year.

Lopez will be fighting at 125 pounds in Bellator, which she tells us is a lot more comfortable of a weight cut than 115.

It has been nearly a year since Kristi Lopez stepped into a cage at the Ultimate Fighter 23, losing her “get in the house” match to JJ Aldrich by decision. Lopez had turned what was a loss into a positive note in her career.

It’s been a journey. There’s always ups and downs in fighting.  It was very humbling and heartbreaking experience, but from that comes the biggest growth. Once you can overcome obstacles and hardships like that, you are ready for anything.

 One of the test about being a fighter is if you can keep fight after a loss. 

The 2-0 fighter is trained at King’s MMA as she prepared herself for the fight. She has been an up and coming prospect, having been featured on Oxygen’s “Living Different” in 2014 that chronicled her first pro win.  After that, she was out with an injury for nearly 8 months. She used the best part of her time out of action. 

Fighting is a lot mental. When you have something you want so bad and working so hard for taken away from you for a little bit in terms of an injury or a loss, I think you will either rise up for the challenge and want it that much more or you are going to quit. I am not a quitter.

During the long layoffs, I learned a lot about myself. When you get injured or have to take time off, or things aren’t going your way, you have to be able to persevere.

Lopez has a great support system in her family, which several are boxers. Although she took a different root with grappling, she is looking to return to add to her striking.

Looking at the division in Bellator, she admires Heather Hardy and Illima-Lei MacFarlane, and is looking to make her way up the ranks.

That starts Friday, which will kick off what will hopefully be a new chapter in Lopez’s career. Win or lose, she is happy to be where she is now.

I think things are meant to happen for a reason. One thing I have been feeling is grateful. Grateful for this opportunity. Grateful for Bellator. That just makes me train that much harder, and want this that much more. It makes me want to put on a great show.

Lopez’s match will stream on Bellator.com Friday.

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Bellator’s Emily Ducote – Home Field Advantage and Perennial Underdog

With the influx of Bellator flyweights, no one has had a bigger jump in popularity than Emily Ducote.

The 5-2 fighter is coming off a win over Katy Collins back in March and will look to continue her run at Bellator 181 in Oklahoma this Friday on Spike TV.

It was suspected Ducote would be face Valerie Letourneau, but Letourneau has an undisclosed injury and is out. Jessica Middleton (2-1) will be stepping in. Continue reading Bellator’s Emily Ducote – Home Field Advantage and Perennial Underdog

Bellator Heat: Boxing Champ Heather Hardy to Make MMA Debut

It was delayed, but Heather Hardy will finally make her way into a MMA cage.

Hardy was set to be on the InvictaFC card this past spring, but opponents dropped out and delayed her from making her MMA debut. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Hardy got an opportunity to make her debut in her hometown of New York City in the place known as the Mecca for fighting, Madison Square Garden for Bellator 180, which will air on Spike TV Saturday June 24th. Continue reading Bellator Heat: Boxing Champ Heather Hardy to Make MMA Debut

Wombat Watercooler: Dern Gets Next Opponent; RoadFC Announces All Female Promotion

BJJ superstar Mackenzie Dern has her next challenge in MMA.

The black belt will face Katherine Roy at Legacy Fighting Alliance in San Antonio, Texas March 10th. It will air on AXS TV.

Dern is coming off a highlight reel submission over Montana Stewart in October and is currently 2-0 as a pro. Continue reading Wombat Watercooler: Dern Gets Next Opponent; RoadFC Announces All Female Promotion

Video: Bellator Colleen Schneider Looks to Impress; Wants Rin Nakai in Japan

Bellator tends to keep rolling in free agents coming into 2017.

Several female free agents are now reaping the benefits as the options and leverage to get more moment and more exposure. One of them is Colleen Schneider, who faces Chrissie Daniels at Bellator 170 Saturday at the Forum is Los Angeles. Her fight streams on Spike.com.

Bellator president Scott Coker stated he will be looking to crown the first ever female flyweight champion by the end of the year, and Schneider wants her performance to make that happen sooner than later.

We talked to Schneider about her preparations for her return to flyweight and the one match that got away with Rin Nakai.

Colleen Schneider Talks Evolution; Bellator 125 Title

(Picture courtesy Ester Lin/InvictaFC)

It’s been a long road for Colleen Schneider.

Having fought all over the world and for many organizations, Schneider finds herself in Bellator in 2017 on one of the biggest cards in the company’s history.

After Rebecca Ruth fell out due to injury, Schneider will be face Chrissie Daniels at “Bellator: Ortiz vs. Sonnen” at the L.A. Forum in Los Angeles this Saturday. Schneider will be a part of the preliminary card which will stream on Bellator.com. Continue reading Colleen Schneider Talks Evolution; Bellator 125 Title

Light as a Feather: The 145 Women’s Conundrum

We are on the verge of crowning three featherweight champions this year, and a lot of people have seen this as a problem.

The UFC’s announcement in December started it all as they announced they will crown their first 145 champion with Holly Holm versus Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208 February 11th in Brooklyn, New York. With Cyborg Justino possibly being under suspension by USADA and not having defended her title in the past year due to her UFC stint, Invicta will be crowning an interim champion this coming Saturday in Kansas City with Charmaine Tweet versus Megan Anderson. Continue reading Light as a Feather: The 145 Women’s Conundrum

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane; From Serving Food to Serving Beatings

“I cried every time I watched that fight.”

That was Ilima-Lei MacFarlane explaining how she felt when watching her last fight with Rebecca Ruth at Bellator MMA. For MacFarlane, it was a high point in her continuing journey in MMA.

“It was a combination of a lot of thing. Being on one of the biggest card in Bellator history, having my family there watching, and the biggest reason was my coach Manolo (Hernandez) was in the hospital.”

“The win helped legitimize me in a lot of eyes including my own.”

Continue reading Ilima-Lei MacFarlane; From Serving Food to Serving Beatings

Keri Melendez Talks Fight Training with her Husband; Going to 115

Photo Courtesy Bellator MMA

Keri Melendez put her dreams of fighting as a career on hold to raise a daughter, but this year she is back to living the dream.

She signed with Bellator early this year to do both kickboxing and MMA. She was a champion in kickboxing, but MMA was something she never ventured into. The good news is she has one of the best MMA fighters by her side.

Her husband is UFC star and former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez. One of the better BJJ artists in the lightweight division, Gilbert has been watching her grappling sessions and has become her overall MMA coach.

Having two fighters in the household, it was learning curve to raising a family around fight camps.

“Right after my kickboxing bout, my husband had a fight four weeks later, so it was a little tough in our household,” Keri confessed to us.”I was lucky my mom was with us. She help out with our daughter and some of the chores that come from having a child.”

After the experience, Keri and Gilbert decided maybe it would be smart to schedule around their fights.

“I’ll take a break until my husband confirms his next fight,” Keri stated. “Then I will fight after he is done with his.”


Keri’s MMA debut comes at Bellator this weekend in San Jose, merely 30 minutes away from home. Gilbert and teammate Leslie Smith will be cornering her in what will be her biggest match to date.

The promotion has a budding flyweight division, which most thought would be where Keri would land. However…

“I usually fight at 120 in kickboxing,” Keri explained. “When I was offered opponents they said they would fight me at 115.”

Being a smaller fighter for the 125 division, Keri is looking for Bellator to possibly expand their female roster to strawweight.

“If everything goes to plan, I put on a great show, and get the W, maybe they will bring in more 115 pounders for me.”

You can watch Keri take on Sheila Padilla on Spike TV Saturday night.

You can listen to our full interview with Keri Melendez here.

Watercooler: Boxing’s Hardy to Invicta; Schneider to Bellator

World boxing champion Heather Hardy is heading to MMA.

Hardy decided to crossover and has inked a deal with InvictaFC. She announced the signing via Ring TV. Ironically it was the new insurance plan for fighters under MMA legalization in home state of New York that drove her to the decision. She is still expecting to box along with her MMA career. Continue reading Watercooler: Boxing’s Hardy to Invicta; Schneider to Bellator