Former champion Budd believes she is fighting for more than herself.
Julia Budd has lost one time in the last 8 years, a nearly unprecedented run. The one blemish since 2012 was the biggest fight of her career, against now champion Cris Cyborg. Bellator 244 against Jessy Miele was Budd’s first fight back since losing her Bellator featherweight title, and she feels as though she did enough Friday to fight for it once more.
“I’m the first 145er back in the cage,” Budd told the media following the fight, having earned a clear unanimous decision win. “I was contacting Bellator saying ‘get me back in there as soon as possible.’ It wasn’t a full training camp,” Budd continued. “Failure drives me. It’s something that has motivated me my entire career.”
“I don’t think I [should have] to fight again but it’s Bellators call,” she added.
Budd was extremely happy to be back in the cage again but this win wasn’t only for her. Married to her African American coach, and step mother to Bellator’s Lance Gibson Jr. this win was for the fight going on in the world everyday, racial injustice.
“My husband’s black, my step son is black, my mother-in-law’s black,” Budd stated. “I’ve seen a-lot of racial injustice going on in my community on the Sunshine coast. It’s not just a U.S. problem, it is everywhere,” Budd continued. “We’ve got totem poles vandalized on the Sunshine coast and it’s just something that has been really pissing me off.”
Budd continued on her fight, and said she will continue to use her platform to speak out against racial injustices as long as she needs to, but she hopes, as we all do, something will change.
“Hell yeah,” Budd said on using her platform to speak out. “Well I hope it doesn’t continue to be a problem and I hope it disappears but as long as I’m fighting I’ll be fighting for this as well.”
Watch the full Bellator 244 post-fight press conference with Julia Budd above.