World Series of Fighting announced last week that former Bellator flyweight Jessica Aguilar will face Alida Gray for the women’s strawweight title at WSOF 8. It will be the first-ever female bout in the promotion’s history.
“Jessica Aguilar is currently the absolute best 115-pounder on the planet, but Alida Gray is a lifelong martial artist who has been on an absolute tear since turning her attention to MMA. I can’t wait to see these two clash,” WSOF President Ray Sefo said via a press release.
Aguilar, the No.1 strawweight in the United Women’s MMA rankings, carries a 16-4 record into the Jan. 18 bout. The American Top Team fighter defeated Japanese MMA pioneer Megumi Fujii last October to notch her seventh straight victory.
“My training is going awesome over here with the best team in the world at ATT,” Aguilar said. “It’s nice to be recognized as the top strawweight in the world, but I’m looking forward to finally receiving a belt and continuing to show the world why I’m the best. I’m honored and grateful for the opportunity to continue doing what I love to do.”
Undefeated in four professional fights, Gray’s victories have not reached the judges’ table. Last October, her power was on full display with a one-punch knockout of Soannia Tiem at 24/7 Entertainment 12. An alternate on the 1996 U.S. Olympic judo team, Gray looks to make a name for herself with less than four years of MMA training under her belt.
“I’m excited to get in the decagon,” Gray said. “This all came very unexpectedly, but I knew it was a great opportunity for me to prove that I belong at the top. This is going to be my first time on national television, but I’m no stranger to big fights. I’m not going to put too much thought into it. I’m confident in my skills, and when I get in there I will shut everyone else out and go home with the belt.”
WSOF 8, which takes place at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., airs live on NBC Sports Network.