‘The Warhorse’ Kristina Williams will return to action against undefeated Juliana Velasquez at Bellator 224.
Bellator 224 in Thackerville, Oklahoma has added a significant match-up in the women’s flyweight division. The Score’s James Lynch was first to report that Kristina Williams will take on Juliana Velasquez at the event, scheduled for July 12 at the WinStar World Casino and Resort.
Williams (3-1) burst onto the scene in 2017, making her pro debut in Bellator against boxing champ Heather Hardy. Williams finished the popular crossover star, then went on to win her next bout against Emily Ducote, before suffering her first loss against veteran Valerie Letourneau last June. She bounced back in November at Bellator 210, earning a unanimous decision against Bruna Ellen.
Juliana Velasquez, for her part, is an undefeated prospect with an 8-0 record who has earned her last three wins under the Bellator MMA banner. Those came against Na Liang, Rebecca Ruth, and ex-title challenger Alejandra Lara. The 32-year old Brazilian holds a win from earlier in her career against UFC fighter Talita Bernardo.
She’s also a decorated judo competitor who earned medals in her native Brazil before moving to MMA.
Velasquez has widely been seen as a potential challenger for 125lb champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, who last defended her title against Veta Arteaga at Bellator 220 in April. The fight ended in a doctor’s stoppage after an elbow opened up a nasty gash on the challenger. Prior to that, Arteaga had been giving the champ one of the toughest tests of her career. With Velasquez vs. Williams booked, it may be a sign that a rematch could be in the works.
Bellator 224 will be headlined by a featherweight title fight between champion Julia Budd and Olga Rubin. The card is expected to air on Paramount Network and DAZN.