Kristina Williams, whose ‘Warhorse’ nickname is fitting thanks to her length and background in riding, never stopped moving forward Friday as she earned a unanimous decision against a game Bruna Ellen.
Two of Bellator’s top prospects in the women’s flyweight division were back in action at Bellator 210 on Friday night. Bruna Ellen was returning from a lengthy layoff, while Kristina Williams, who was most recently seen clashing with title challenger Valerie Letourneau, hoped to get back in the win column.
Either woman could push closer to the top of the division with a win. Ellen had a couple of more fights under her belt, but Ellen, at 22, was yet to even hit her prime. Williams had at least dipped a toe into hers — and she certainly had a confidence boost from the Letourneau fight, even with a loss. Not to mention, she was training with some pretty impressive talents.
Circling off the opening bell, Williams pursued her opponent methodically, while Ellen showed more varied movement. Ellen was able to sneak in for a strike or two, while Williams fired off a kick that missed. A later high kick was blocked, but there was no doubt Ellen felt it. She continued to stay on the outside, looking for a way to close the distance. Williams would being to open up a little as the round progressed, but Ellen never once stopped moving. Ellen would manage to land a solid right with about a minute left in the round, but Williams continued moving forward, and Ellen finally shot in for a takedown in the final minute. Williams, however, stuffed the attempt.
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In the second, Ellen was showing damage to the eye as the the two went back at it. Williams, meanwhile, looked no worse for the wear. She caught Ellen with a left early, and followed that up with a kick. Ellen launched a big right that connected, but not clean. Williams continued to string together combos while Ellen focused on movement, but wasn’t able to land at the same pace. A jump knee from Ellen didn’t come close to landing, but perhaps it would signal things to come. However it was a caught kick that changed momentum, as Ellen dumped her opponent on her back. Yet if that was going to be a takedown to steal the round, it didn’t go as planned. Williams escaped to her feet quickly; the pair finished the frame trading.
Steady forward momentum and consistent striking was getting the better of movement of some flashy attacks through the first two round, or at least that’s how it seemed. Still, with judging always a question mark, a big third round for either fighter could seal the deal. Williams backed her opponent up early in the final frame, then fended off a takedown. Ellen wound up in control against the fence moments later, firing off knees. Later in the round, Williams took advantage of a takedown attempt by Ellen, getting on top. She looked to have Ellen in a dangerous position, but instead allowed her opponent up.
Going to the scorecards, the judges awarded Williams the bout, with two giving her all three rounds. Another strong outing for the ‘Warhorse’ who (no pun intended) could wind up a dark horse contender in 2019.
Kristina Williams def. Bruna Ellen by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)