Leslie Smith
The Peacemaker
Headed for Bellator
BantamweightBellator
April 16, 2019
Smith announced her signing with Bellator MMA on Tuesday, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Smith and the UFC did not part ways on good terms, as her contract was bought out after several years of vocal support for fighter unionization. Things especially didn't sit well with the promotion after she refused to fight an overweight opponent at the UFC's Atlantic City event last April. The 36-year-old ended up leaving following back-to-back victories, and immediately becomes a contender in the promotion's featherweight division. Smith fought the majority of her UFC tenure at bantamweight, but did move up to fight Cris Cyborg in a catchweight bout in May of 2016.
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Union leader released from UFC
BantamweightBellator
April 24, 2018
Smith is no longer under contract with the UFC after the promotion chose to buy out her contract, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Smith was scheduled to face Aspen Ladd at UFC Atlantic City last Saturday, but Ladd missed weight by 1.8 pounds, which began intense negotiations between Smith and the promotion. According to Smith, she proposed to the UFC that she would still accept the fight if the promotion chose to extend her deal. Instead, Smith says the UFC paid her both show money and a win bonus on her current contract, and now considers her a free agent. Smith has long been a figurehead for fighter rights, and is the interim president of Project Spearhead -- the most recent organization formed in an effort to unionize MMA fighters. The 35-year-old bantamweight, who had won back-to-back fights, does not believe she received a fair shake, and intends to take legal action against the UFC. Despite the small winning streak, it would be surprising to see her compete in a sanctioned event any time soon as she shifts her focus to the courtroom.
Fight scratched from UFC Atlantic City
BantamweightBellator
April 20, 2018
Smith has declined to fight Aspen Ladd at UFC Atlantic City after Ladd failed to make weight Friday, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Smith was offered 20 percent of Ladd's purse and an extra $5,000 after Ladd failed to make weight Friday, but Smith declined the offer and the fight is officially off.
Opponent misses weight for UFC Atlantic City
BantamweightBellator
April 20, 2018
Smith's opponent for UFC Atlantic City on Saturday, Aspen Ladd, missed weight Friday morning, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Ladd came in 2.8 pounds over the required 135. It's still undecided at this time whether or not the fight will continue.
To face Aspen Ladd in April
BantamweightBellator
January 5, 2018
Smith will take on Aspen Ladd in a bantamweight matchup in Atlantic City on April 21, MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani reports.
ANALYSIS
Smith will head back into the arena after a nine-month layoff since topping Amanda Lemos via TKO (elbows) in July in Glasgow, Scotland. That marked her second straight victory, and brought Smith's career record to 10-7. Ladd comes in having won her UFC debut in October by besting Lina Lansberg via TKO (punches) in the second round in Poland. In her MMA career, Ladd holds a perfect 6-0 record, but should receive a strong test this time around.
Continues to come forward against Amanda Lemos at UFC Fight Night Glasgow
BantamweightBellator
July 16, 2017
Smith defeated Amanda Lemos via TKO (elbows) at 2:52 of round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland
ANALYSIS
In the first round, it looked like Lemos was going to run through Smith. However, Smith absorbed the punishment and continued to come forward. The pressure and volume really took a toll on Lemos. Midway through the second round, it was clear that Lemos was running out of gas. Smith continued to push forward throwing punches and elbows until the referee stopped the bout. Following the fight, Smith called out Bethe Corriea.