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Bellator 182's Colleen Schneider will call out Ilima-Lei MacFarlane – with cameras rolling this time


Colleen Schneider was signed to Bellator on the promise of her potential in the women’s flyweight division.

At bantamweight, she’d stumbled, losing to several seasoned veterans. But 10 pounds lighter, she’d seen impressive runs in the cage.

The stage was set for Schneider to show her abilities at Bellator 170, the Viacom-owned promotion’s first “tentpole” event of this year featuring a grudge match between Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen. And she did show off, despite multiple opponents withdrawing prior to the event, submitting Chrissie Daniels with an anaconda choke in the first round.

Only no cameras filmed it.

“Literally, right as I was ready to walk out for the prelims, they told me I’d be fighting in post-lims,” Scheinder (11-7 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who next faces Kate Jackson (8-2-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator 182, told MMAjunkie. “I’d done an entire warmup and had to sit for a couple hours.”

A victim of the promotion’s dubious policy of relegating local fighters to the non-televised backend of televised events, Scheinder, who’s faced UFC vets Tonya Evinger and Irena Aldana, fought in a vacuum. Many of the media members in attendance for the fights didn’t see her win, having already walked backstage for the post-fight press conference.

It wasn’t a wash, but it was pretty close.

“It did something for me in the sense that I went out there and fought well and won my first fight for Bellator, but it could have been a lot better than it was – a lot more useful than it was,” she said.

Although Schneider won her first bout, her second basically serves as a do-over. She’ll emerge with footage the promotion can use to promote her – if they so choose. After the first outing, she rightfully has concerns.

“I would love to fight one of the established flyweights in Bellator,” she said. “I think that gives me more leverage in the organization. So the fact that they’re having me fight someone they just signed, I don’t think it is the strongest thing as far as where it could put me in title contention.”

But then again, Schneider is there to build up her resume. The Bellator flyweight division is relatively thin, with only a few clear contenders for the belt, which has yet to be put up for grabs. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, with an undefeated record and five wins under the promotional banner, is the front-runner.

Schneider plans to call her out after her fight on the MMAjunkie-streamed prelims Friday at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

“After I go out there and beat Kate, I’ll call for that,” she said. “That’s who I’d love to fight next.”

It seems unlikely a 2-0 run would warrant a title shot, but with another impressive performance, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Schneider certainly plans to do everything in her power to finish Jackson early when they meet.

She just needs the camera turned on this time.

“I think I’d be a good champion for them if it went down that road, but all I can do it go out there and put on the best fights I can,” Schneider said. “It’s a cliche, but ultimately, it’s up to (Bellator executives) Scott Coker and Rich Chou to decide.”

For more on Bellator 182, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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