MICHAEL MCDONALD CHALLENGES FORMER BANTAMWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION EDUARDO DANTAS IN CO-MAIN EVENT
LOS ANGELES – On Friday, July 13, Julia Budd (11-2) will defend her featherweight world title against Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Talita Nogueira (7-0), in the main event of Bellator 202 at WinStar World Casino and Resort. In addition, the co-headliner will feature former Bellator world champion Eduardo Dantas (20-5) taking on Michael McDonald (18-4) in a bantamweight clash of top contenders.
Bellator 202: Budd vs. Nogueira will be broadcast live and free on Paramount Network at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and globally on the Bellator Mobile App. Tickets for the event go on sale this Friday, April 20 and can be purchased at the WinStar World Casino and Resort box office, as well as through Ticketmaster and Bellator.com. Additional bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.
Julia Budd, the only fighter to sit atop Bellator women’s featherweight division, has bested Germaine de Randamie, Arlene Blencowe and Marloes Coenen amongst other names over the course of her eight-year mixed martial arts career. “The Jewel” is also the only woman to defeat Gina Carano in Muay-Thai competition. Now, the Canada-native and former STRIKEFORCE competitor, returns to Oklahoma, where she makes her second title defense since winning the belt last year at Bellator 174.
Talita Nogueira had already been crowned a world champion in jiu-jitsu prior to testing her hand in MMA. “Treta” went undefeated in six MMA contests in her home town of Sao Paulo, Brazil between 2009 and 2013, before signing to compete with Bellator. Originally slated to fight Budd at Bellator 133, Nogueira suffered an injury that forced her to withdraw from the contest. Her highly-anticipated promotional debut ultimately took place at Bellator 182, where the 32-year-old scored a first-round submission over Amanda Bell. The Demain Maia-trained fighter now gets a second chance to compete against Budd, and this time, the world championship is on the line.
Former two-time world champion Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas has proven himself a perennial top-10 bantamweight fighter with impressive performances over Joe Warren, Marcos Galvao (x2), Wilson Reis and Zach Makovsky. The Bellator Season 5 tournament champion has strung together an impressive 10-2 record with Bellator during his seven-year tenure with the promotion. The 29-year-old trains alongside the likes of Jose Aldo at the famed Nova Uniao team in his home town of Rio de Janeiro and is looking for another shot at Bellator gold.
Fighting professionally since the age of 16, McDonald has been a mainstay in the bantamweight rankings for the better part of 11 years. The exciting Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has amassed an astonishing finishing rate, reaching the judges’ scorecards only three times in his 22 fights. “Mayday” made his Bellator debut in 2017, scoring a victory over Peter Ligier, despite fracturing his hand early in the fight. Now that his hand has fully healed, the former world title challenger from Modesto, Calif. will look to defeat Dantas July 13 on Paramount Network.
Updated Bellator 202: Budd vs. Nogueira Fight Card:
Women’s Featherweight World Title Bout: Julia Budd (11-2) vs. Talita Nogueira (7-0)
Bantamweight Main Card Bout: Eduardo Dantas (20-5) vs. Michael McDonald (18-4)
*Card subject to change