Bellator 295: Sumiko Inaba is the fighter to watch

Sumiko Inaba
Sumiko Inaba / Bellator

Sumiko Inaba is the fighter to watch at Bellator 295.

Sumiko Inaba will once again fight in her home state of Hawaii for the second time in two years as Bellator returns there this weekend for two fight cards. At Bellator 295 on Saturday, Inaba will face the toughest test of her young career against former title challenger Veta Arteaga.

A native of Pukalani, Hawaii, Inaba looks to keep her undefeated streak alive and climb to 6-0. Inaba signed with Bellator after going 6-1 as an amateur, most recently defeating Nadine Mandiau at Bellator 286, the only fight to go all three rounds in her short pro career. Inaba has been active since 2020, picking up wins against Jessica Ruiz, Kristina Katsikis, Randi Field, Whittany Pyles, and the aforementioned Maniau, a win which propelled her to No. 9 in the women's flyweight rankings.

Sumiko Inaba faces the toughest test of her young career against Veta Arteaga at Bellator 295

Veta Arteaga, currently ranked No. 7 in the women's flyweight division, is looking to pick up her third straight win. Save for her pro debut, Veta's entire career has been with Bellator, amassing a 6-4 record and fighting for the flyweight championship in 2019. Arteaga has wins against current UFC strawweight Emily Ducote, former title challenger Denise Kielholtz, Desiree Yanez, and most recently Vanessa Porto at UFC 283. Arteaga faced former champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane for the flyweight championship and was giving her trouble until a cut stopped the fight, and after losing her next bout, is looking to get back into the title picture after two straight wins.

A win here could rocket Inaba into the top five of the division and prove that she belongs with the top fighters, but Arteaga will not make it easy for her. This will be only Inaba's second fight against an opponent with a winning record, but Bellator believes she's ready for her biggest challenge. With an exact height and reach for both fighters, Inaba will look to impress on the prelims with the home-field advantage.

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Bellator 295: Raufeon Stots vs. Patchy Mix takes place on Saturday, April 22nd, 2023, live from Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights.