The writing was on the wall when Invicta FC on Tuesday announced it had signed former Bellator fighter Felice Herrig to a multi-fight contract, and then Jessica Eye and Jessica Aguilar, two of the top female fighters around, announced via Twitter that Bellator had released them from their contracts.
With those three powerhouses gone, Bellator was left with zero women on its roster.
Invicta FC – an all women’s fight promotion – is the go-to home for the rest of women’s MMA, with most of the best women in the world fighting for the fledgling promotion.
That left Bellator with very few options when trying to line up legitimate competitors for the fighters it had under contract. With no suitable opposition, Bellator decided it was best to let its female fighters pursue other opportunities.
“Jessica Eye, Jessica Aguilar and Felice (Herrig) represent all that is good in women’s MMA,” said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney on Tuesday. “Both Eye and Aguilar are ranked No. 1 in the world in their respective divisions and carry themselves with class and distinction elevating the women’s game.
“I’ve said many times that fighters need to fight and fight often. Given our current focus, we are not in position to provide these very deserving women regular and recurring fights on a large platform. And, I felt it was best to let them go and secure options that did.
“I genuinely wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors and will be rooting for each of them wherever they fight.”
With Eye currently competing in the flyweight division, and Aguilar fighting at strawweight, it’s highly likely that both will follow Herrig to Invicta FC, where they would have the opportunity to face the top competition their respective division’s have to offer.