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Eight-Woman Field Set for Bellator Tournament

Bellator Fighting Championships has announced that American Top Team-trained Jessica Aguilar is the eighth and final participant in the promotion's 115-pound women's tournament, which will begin on August 12.

Aguilar joins Lynn Alvarez, Aisling Daley, Megumi Fujii, Angela Magana, Jessica Pene, Rosi Sexton and Lisa Ward in the Season 3 tournament field. Here's how I rank the eight of them in order of how likely they are to become Bellator's first female champion:

1. Fujii: With a perfect 20-0 record and her status as arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in all of women's MMA, Fujii has to be considered the favorite to win the entire tournament.

2. Sexton: She's 10-1, and the only loss came to the much bigger Gina Carano four years ago. Sexton is a tremendous fighter, and I'm glad Bellator has her in the mix, although I do find it curious that she has a fight for Bellator on Thursday night against Zoila Frausto. If Frausto wins that fight, suffice to say Sexton's stock drops a lot heading into the tournament.

3. Daley: The Irish Daley is 9-0 and has only gone to a decision once. My only question is whether she's taken on elite competition. Whoever she faces in the first round of the tournament, that's likely going to be her toughest fight to date.

4. Aguilar: She's 8-3 and has been on a real tear of late, with three stoppage wins in the last eight months.

5. Ward: Her 13-4 record includes an impressive win over Stephanie Frausto at Bellator 22 last week, as well as a victory over Aguilar. That was Aguilar's first pro fight, however, and I think the training she's been getting at ATT would probably give her an edge over Ward if there's a rematch -- which I hope there will be in the first round of the tournament.

6. Pene: At 7-0 with four submissions and a TKO, Pene has a good-looking record, although I don't like how she matches up with most of the rest of the tournament field.

7. Magana: Her 8-4 career record includes a loss to Pene, a win over Alvarez and three fights against Aguilar (Aguilar has won two of them).

8. Alvarez: It's a demonstration of how deep and evenly matched this tournament is that Alvarez is No. 8. She has a 5-1 record, including a first-round submission win over the well-known Michelle "Karate Hottie" Waterson, but Alvarez's one loss was to Magana and she hasn't fought anyone else in the field, so I'll have to place her at the bottom.