Bellator MMA is hot in pursuit of suitable challengers for its flyweight queen Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.
The promotion announced Thursday evening that its line-up for April 13 will feature a 125-pound contest between Rebecca Ruth and undefeated prospect Juliana Velasquez.
Bellator 197 emanates from the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., headlined by a lightweight title rematch between unbeaten Brent Primus and former titlist Michael Chandler.
Ruth, 39, hasn’t fought since succumbing to the now-promotional champion Macfarlane herself. After ripping off four wins, three of which by stoppage, Ruth was halted by “The Ilimanator” at Bellator 187, falling prey to a rear-naked choke at Bellator 157 in June 2016.
Velasquez, 31, was one of the most sought-after flyweight prospects before Bellator inked her to a contract late last year. After putting her first five professional opponents away, the Brazilian made her promotional debut for Bellator on Dec. 1 of last year, armbarring Na Liang 32 seconds into the second round.