Report: Another former UFC title challenger is close to signing with Bellator

April 22, 2017 8:59 am by Tom Taylor
Valerie Letourneau

According to a report from MMAFighting.com, Bellator MMA is on the verge of signing another former UFC title challenger. That title challenger is Canada’s Valérie Létourneau, who fought for the UFC strawweight title in 2015, putting forth a valiant effort against dominant champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Létourneau is currently on an unfortunate, three-fight losing streak, having dropped this fight to Jedrzejczyk, succumbed to strikes dealt by Joanne Calderwood, and given up a razor-thin decision to Viviane Pereira back in December. After these losses, she was released by the promotion.

The obvious benefit of  Létourneau’s signing with Bellator MMA, of course, is that Bellator has a women’s flyweight division.

Létourneau has spent her recent career competing in the 115-pound strawweight division, a division that she has a very difficult time getting down to. Her only alternative in the UFC is the 135-pound women’s bantamweight division, where she is at a significant size disadvantage. Indeed, the Canadian is a natural flyweight, but the UFC does not currently have a women’s flyweight division.

If Létourneau joins the Bellator fold as reported, she’ll be the latest in a long string of high-profile fighters to do so. Over the last few years, Bellator has gone on a signing spree, picking up notable names like Josh Thomson, Benson Henderson, Phil Davis, Matt Mitrione, Rory MacDonald, Sergei Kharitonov, Alessio Sakara, Josh Koscheck, Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, Lorenz Larkin, Ryan Bader, and Michael MacDonald.

Létourneau would join a flyweight division that is home to promising talent like Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Anastasia Yankova, Veta Arteaga, Keri Melendez and Lena Ovchynnikova.

Bellator was recently given the green light by its deep-pocketed parent company, Viacom, to sign any and all high profile free agents. With Létourneau on the cusp of signing, the promotion seems to be hell-bent on doing so.

How do you think Valérie Létourneau will do in the Bellator flyweight division? Sound off, PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/22/2017.


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