Leslie Smith has carved a career out of fighting tooth and nail throug the years.
A veteran of the all-female Invicta FC promotion, Smith (11-7-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) went on to fight in the UFC, where she forged a reputation for her never-back-down fighting style and penchant for back-and-forth wars.
But after her high-profile departure from the UFC, Smith found herself without a contract and looking for her next home. After just over two years away from the cage, Smith resurfaced as a Bellator athlete and registered a victory in her debut to kick off the latest chapter of her career,
Now looking to build momentum with her new promotion, Smith returns to action this Friday night at Bellator 233 against Australia’s Arlene Blencowe aiming to go 2-0 in Bellator and extend her winning streak to four.
Ahead of her 20th professional fight, we take a look back at the five fights that helped define her career so far.
Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 3 – Oct. 6, 2012
After fighting Kaitlin Young to a draw on her promotional debut at the inaugural Invicta FC event, Smith’s next outing was all but guaranteed to be against “The Striking Viking” as they agreed to run it back just two events later at Invicta FC 3.
This time around the judges weren’t required, as an inspired Smith turned up the heat and stopped Young in the second round to secure her first win in a major MMA promotion.
It highlighted the determined Smith as a force to be reckoned with in Invicta, and she proved that fact in her very next bout as she outpointed future UFC bantamweight title challenger Raquel Pennington three months later at Invicta FC 4.
- Leslie Smith's plan: Beat Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 233, title shot, face Cat Zingano
- With MMA title shot in sight, Bellator 233's Janay Harding plans to put boxing aside
- For 'King Mo' Lawal, Bellator 233 isn't a comeback: 'I just wants to end on a win'
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Defining Fights: Bellator 233’s Leslie Smith