It appears that Bellator will not be promoting women’s MMA fights in the near future as the organization has released top fighters Jessica Aguilar and Jessica Eye while Felice Herrig has signed an exclusive contract with Invicta FC.
Eye and Aguilar confirmed they were released on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon and Invicta FC announced the signing of Herrig earlier today.
Bellator has not released an official statement at this time on the release but Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney commented on the future of women in Bellator last week to TheMMAReport.com.
“It’s an area of our business that we have paid a lot of attention to and we gave a lot of support to in a time the other major organization in this space had publicly stated that they would have nothing to do with women’s MMA ever,” Rebney said.
“We have kept three or four very talented ladies under contract including Jessica Eye, Jessica Aguilar, Felice Herrig and some other. It is our focus right now has been obviously the mens game, the pay-per-view, establishment of our different weight class and champions into bigger stars. We are taking steps to allow some of those ladies who have been nothing but awesome to go out and secure more fights and have the availability to fight wherever they want to.”
Eye (10-1) is considered one of the top flyweight (125 lbs) fighters in the world and is currently on a seven fight winning streak. Her most recent win came at NAAFS 9 where she defeated Carina Damm. Her last fight in Bellator took place in December where she defeated Bellator champion Zoila Gurgel.
Aguilar (15-4) is currently on a six fight winning streak and is considered the top female strawweight (115 lbs) fighter. She holds a win over current Invicta FC strawweight champion Carla Esparza.
Eye and Aguilar may end up joining Herrig (9-4) in Invicta FC at some point. Herrig has won her last four fights including a decision win over Heather Clark at Bellator 94. In the press release announcing her signing, it did not indicate when she will make her debut with the promotion but the Team Curran fighter stated she was happy to be joining the all-female promotion.
“I couldn’t be happier than I am now, after signing with Invicta FC,” said Herrig. “I have seen them do so much for women and really give them a chance to shine. I don’t think anyone realized how big Invicta FC would become, and I am truly proud to say I have found a home with them.”