Jena Bishop made her promotional debut at Bellator 291 on February 25th, 2023 and she put in a fantastic performance against Elina Kallionidou. Bishop has been a very high level grappler for years now, even going so far as to win ADCC Trials in 2019 against some incredibly stiff competition. That earned her an invite to the ADCC world championship later that same year and was only stopped when she came up against Beatriz ‘Bia’ Mesquita in the opening round.
Since 2021, she has been focusing significantly more on making the transition to MMA and it’s been clear that she’s more than capable of hanging with some of the best around in the sport. Jena Bishop beat her first four opponents and earned a call up to the bigger leagues at Bellator, with the promotion matching her against Kallionidou at Bellator 291. It should have been a tough fight on paper, because Kallionidou is significantly more experienced in the cage than Bishop. She had a 9-4 professional record coming into the fight and spent almost half her career fighting for Bellator, so she it looked like she might have been enough of a veteran to keep the fight in areas where she could potentially beat Bishop.
That isn’t remotely what happened once the cage door closed though and Jena Bishop made one of the best promotional debuts in recent memory at Bellator 291. She dominated Kallionidou across all three rounds of their fight and ended up winning a unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the fight 30-27. Bellator might not have the deepest women’s flyweight division but the top contenders like Ilima-Lei MacFarlane and Juliana Velasquez are all fantastic fighters, so it shouldn’t be long at all before Bishop is up there competing alongside them. There’s no rush though of course and it’s likely that her next fight or two in 2023 is against women occupying the bottom end of the top 15 as she works her way towards a title-shot.
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