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Marloes Coenen to fight Julia Budd for inaugural featherweight title at Bellator 155

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Bellator will crown its first women's featherweight champ May 20 at Bellator 155, when Marloes Coenen (23-6) faces Julia Budd (8-2) for the inaugural 145-pound strap.

Bleacher Report's Sydnie Jones first reported the news Friday, and MMA Fighting has since confirmed the matchup with Bellator officials. The fight will serve as the card's featured preliminary bout, streaming live on and on the Bellator mobile app.

"We felt that this amazing title fight was the perfect vehicle to help build awareness for our preliminary stream and boost the viewership for and the Bellator mobile app," Bellator Director of Communications Danny Brener told MMA Fighting.

The 32-year-old Budd has won six straight, most recently taking a unanimous decision over Roberto Paim Rovel at Bellator 146. Budd's two career losses came against noted UFC bantamweights Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey.

Coenen, meanwhile, has long been considered one of the finest competitors in women's MMA. In 2010, she captured the Strikeforce women's featherweight title in a bout against Sarah Kaufman, then defended the strap once with a submission victory over Liz Carmouche. She then dropped the title via submission to current UFC bantamweight champ Miesha Tate.

Like Budd, Coenen has enjoyed success of late under the Bellator banner, posting a 2-0 record with the promotion, both wins coming via submission.

Bellator 155 is headlined by a middleweight title fight between champ Rafael Carvalho (12-1) and Melvin Manhoef (30-12-1).

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