At one time it seemed as if the 145-pound weight class for women was a quickly fading division after Strikeforce champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos was suspended for performance enhancing drugs. But over the last year, a group of young, up-and-coming fighters has helped the division become a formidable one with the support of Invicta FC.
Among the new breed of women’s 145-pound fighters is Amanda “Lady Killer” Bell.
Originally getting into the sport as part of a cage set-up crew, Bell quickly picked up the sport, going 6-1 during her amateur career.
“In the beginning, it was more of a hobby more or less,” said Bell. “When I first started, I was in a heavier weight class. I was 195 pounds and went down from there to 185 to 160, and now I’m stationed at 145.
“It’s been a progression over the last four years to better coaches, better training and getting into a lighter weight class.”
While Bell’s journey into MMA may have been unconventional, it’s what she’s managed to do so far in her career that’s made her such a highly touted prospect.
“I’ve finished all of my fights and have never gone to a decision,” she said. “I only lost one, which more than anything was my fault because I’d cut weight to the day (of the fight) and I didn’t have the power and explosion I have in fights. That was my only failure.
“My other fights I’ve pulled off the win in the first round or second round. That’s the thing is that I’ve been very dominant in my fights, being very forward about everything that I’ve done.”
Bell’s pro debut this Saturday at Invicta FC 4 comes against a fighter she sees very much as a mirror of herself in Tamikka Brents.
“We’re both very aggressive fighters and forward with our dominance and what we do,” said Bell. “This is going to be one of those fights that it could go either way. I’m going to have to make a game plan to avoid getting caught or stuck anywhere in a bad position and be one step ahead of her any way I can be.
“I’ve seen a lot of places people are saying we’re going to steal the show. We’re going to have the best fight of the night and it’s going to be a war.”
With Invicta’s willingness to showcase the 145-pound weight class, Bell told MMAWeekly.com that she feels now could very well be the time not only for herself, but for others to make featherweight a premier division on women’s MMA.
“In recent years, in my opinion, 145 pounds seems to have really cleared out,” said Bell. “But to see girls like me, Tamikka and Julia Budd, and all these other girls who are coming up are powerful and strong and natural 145 pounders, I hope that it really helps build up the 145-pound weight class.
“If we stay at 145, build it up and making it a powerful weight class, there will be more opportunities for girls to have a career here and keep fighting at 145.”