Just a few weeks after being catapulted to internet MMA fame/infamy, Russia’s Darina Mazdyuk (3-1) has signed with Bellator MMA. The report was confirmed to MMA Fighting.
The 28-year-old had built up a respectable record for someone with such a short career, having no amateur fights whatsoever. Her wins were all against opponents making their debuts, and her lone loss was to an opponent that was 1-0, just like she was at the time.
Of course, this she’ll come in to the major MMA scene with a series of expectations and a lot of questions regarding her skill and legitimacy. An unproven talent that won a freaskshow fight against an obese man is not something that screams “prospect,” really. But before we turn our noses at this, we also need to consider this may actually be a good move for Bellator.
Consider this: you have a female fighter that looked sharp in her offense against a physically imposing man that outweighed her by just over a factor of three. That’s marketable and easy. She managed to stop him and happens to be in the most dynamic women’s division that Bellator has right now.
Mazdyuk could be a prospect that they can bring along for development into something bigger. The division is already well-populated and has some notable names, such as Denise Kielholtz, Alejandra Azul, Keri-Ann Melendez, Valerie Loureda, Bruna Ellen and Veta Arteaga, as well as veterans Liz Carmouche, Bec Rawlings and Vanessa Porto. Add to that recent talents DeAnna Bennett and Kana Watanabe, and you’ve got a very fleshed out division that doesn’t need for a fighter like Mazdyuk to be rushed into a top contender or title situation.
Let’s also remember that now-former champ Ilima-Lei MacFarlane made her pro debut in an infamously ugly bout against a hilariously unqualified Katie Castro, and is now an elite talent. A ten-fight win streak followed that and there’s no question regarding her ability to perform. Can that be repeated here with Darina? Only time will tell, but it’s not as wild a gamble as it may seem from the outset.
No announcement was made regarding possible opponents or a debut date as of yet, but Bellator is sure to highlight her upon arrival, as they should.
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