Juliana Velasquez earned a title shot with a one-sided win over Bruna Ellen at Bellator 236, pressuring her for 15 minutes.
Juliana Velasquez looks to be the next in line for a title shot in the flyweight division. But to get there, she’ll have to defeat Bruna Ellen. Velasquez is 9-0 with five stoppages in her career. The Brazilian signed with Bellator in 2017 and is 4-0 since then, with finishes in three of those contests.
Bruna Ellen has been with the promotion longer, signing in 2016 at just 2-0. The Brazil native is 3-2 since then with a notable victory over Veta Arteaga.
Juliana Velasquez took the center of the cage early on, throwing range-finding kicks towards Bruna Ellen. Velasquez landed a left straight after forcing Ellen towards the cage, then reset to the center. Velasquez then clocked Ellen with another left straight, dropping Ellen to her back. Velasquez jumped on top and began throwing ground-and-pound. Ellen defended and popped back up to her feet. Ellen landed a leg kick then dodged a straight punch from Velasquez. Velasquez continued to stalk forward, but wasn’t throwing much in terms of offense. Ellen landed a leg kick to slow her opponent’s pursuit. At the end of the round, Velasquez connected with a flying knee and a left straight.
Velasquez took the center of the cage quickly, but Ellen was throwing more kicks. Velasquez threw a left hand that Ellen ducked away from. A jab landed for Velasquez and more of the same was going on. Ellen was struggling to establish offense, while Velasquez was patiently waiting for an opening. There was a left hand followed by a one-two combo for Velasquez and she was in complete control. With about 20 seconds left, Velasquez opened up with a flying knee and a combination to put a stamp on the round.
Ellen caught a high kick in the early going but couldn’t do anything with it. A one-two landed for Velasquez as she continued to pressure Ellen. A combination for Velasquez was answered by a solid right hand from Ellen. Then, several big shots landed for Velasquez, forcing Ellen to desperately shoot for a takedown. Velasquez avoided it and continued to land heavy punches. Left straights consistently found a target for Velasquez. With 30 seconds left, Velasquez initiated a clinch and threw a flurry of short punches to close out the fight.
Juliana Velasquez def. Bruna Ellen by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)