CHICAGO, Ill. (June 22, 2010) — Aisling Daly, the best female mixed martial artist in Ireland and the world’s No. 3-ranked 125 lbs. female fighter, is the latest addition to Bellator Fighting Championships’ Season 3 Women’s Tournament.
The 22-year-old Daly (whose first name is pronounced “ASH-ling”) brings a pristine 9-0 record to the tournament, which will mark her MMA debut in the U.S. Her most recent win came against the previously undefeated Finnish knockout artist Maiju Kujala this past March.
Daly is the seventh announced participant in the tournament, each of whom is ranked among the world’s 10 best in their respective weight classes. The others are Japanese MMA sensation Megumi Fujii – widely regarded as the No. 1 pound-for-pound female fighter in the world – 11-1 British tae-kwon-do black belt Rosi Sexton, 12-5 Seattle submission artist Lisa Ward, 7-0 Southern California striker Jessica Pene, 8-4 New Mexico-based submission specialist Angela Magana and 5-1 Las Vegas-based powerhouse Lynn Alvarez.
The tournament begins on Aug. 12 and will once again be televised LIVE in primetime every Thursday night on FOX Sports Net and during special weekend highlight shows on NBC, Telemundo and the cable network mun2.
“Bellator is the No.1 organization in the world form women’s MMA right now so I jumped at the chance to sign,” Daly said Tuesday. “They have all of the best female fighters in the world signed and I firmly believe that whoever wins the tournament is the best pound-for-pound female fighter in the world. That’s my goal and that’s what I’m coming to the U.S. to do … nobody will remember who finishes second.”
Daly got her start in combat sports at the age of 10 when she began training in karate. As a teenager, she picked up Brazilian jiu-jitsu and, later, boxing and wrestling.
“When I put all of that together, I figured I’d give MMA a go,” she said.
As evidenced by her four career TKOs (three of them in the first round), Daly considers herself an aggressive fighter who looks to finish fights early.
“When I go in there, I’m lookin’ to make an impact. I’m lookin’ to steamroll the person I’m fighting,” she said.
Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney said that trait should serve her well no matter which of the other top-ranked opponents she draws once the tournament begins in August.
“Aisling’s as tough as they come and she has all the tools necessary to be dangerous against anyone in this stacked women’s tournament,” he said.
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator. Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster.com.