Bellator 278: Juliana Velasquez Gives Surprising Pick for Toughest Opponent


Bellator women’s flyweight champion Juliana Velasquez is paired up with Liz Carmouche this Friday at Bellator 278.

That’s a match-up that many have pegged as the toughest test of the undefeated Brazilian fighter’s career. But Velasquez herself doesn’t see it that way. Instead, she had another choice as to who represents the toughest foe of her soon-to-be 13-fight career.

“I don’t think so. She’s definitely the most experienced, but I don’t think it’s my hardest task,” Velasquez told Cageside Press during Wednesday’s Bellator Hawaii media day. “A fight is a fight. Let’s see what happens.”

When it comes to who the champ feels her toughest test has been, she singled out two fighters. “[Alejandra] Lara, from Venezuela, and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane,” Velasquez stated. Lara, it should be noted, is actually from Colombia. But geography lessons aside, it’s clear “Azul” left an impression on the champ — who fought Lara in 2018, prior to capturing flyweight gold.

As she heads into what is likely to be a very tough test against Carmouche to say the least, Velasquez said she’s entertaining the idea of pursuing a second title should Bellator MMA open up a women’s bantamweight division.

“It’s definitely in my mind. I just want to solidify my belt at this [division], and it’s definitely in my plan to go up and become the first woman to hold two titles simultaneously.”

Watch the full Bellator Hawaii media day scrum with Juliana Velasquez above. The women’s flyweight champ defends her title against Liz Carmouche this Friday, April 22, 2022 at Bellator 278 in Honolulu, Hawaii.


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