Julia Budd, the former Bellator women’s featherweight champion, signed a contract with PFL, the promotion announced Wednesday.
Budd will make his debut on October 27 on the undercard of the PFL Championship event in Hollywood, Florida against an opponent to be determined. Then, it will be part of the PFL season structure next year.
Budd has long been one of the best featherweights (145 pounds) in the world, but the PFL currently only has one lightweight division (155 pounds) for women. Sources said the promotion has yet to decide whether it will have a women’s featherweight or lightweight division in 2022.
Budd’s signing is expected to be announced Wednesday afternoon at the PFL championship press conference. Her addition is significant, because if female lightweight champion Kayla Harrison, a two-time Olympic judo champion, re-signs with PFL, Budd could be the toughest challenge of her career thus far. Harrison faces Taylor Guardado in a bid to win her second consecutive PFL Women’s Lightweight Championship on the Oct. 27 undercard. Harrison is a free agent after that.
Additionally, PFL is expected to announce Wednesday that renowned musical artist Wiz Khalifa will perform live during the undercard of the championship at the Seminole Hotel & Casino. Khalifa is part of the PFL Ownership Group.
Budd (15-3) held the Bellator women’s featherweight title from 2017 to 2020, when she dropped the belt to Cris Cyborg. The Canadian native has won 13 of her last 14 fights, and Cyborg was the only opponent to beat her since 2011, when Budd fell to former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
Budd has lost to just three women in his career: Cyborg, Rousey, and current double UFC champion Amanda Nunes, who is recognized by many as the greatest MMA fighter of all time.