Bellator 289: Juliana Velasquez Never Stopped Thinking Of Herself As Champ Despite Loss

Earlier this month, current Bellator MMA women’s flyweight champion Liz Carmouche told us that, had the shoe been on the other foot, she would not have appealed the outcome of her fight with Juliana Velasquez back in April.

Velasquez did just that, upset over what she felt was an early stoppage in the fight that cost her both her 125lb title, and perfect record.

During Wednesday’s Bellator 289 media day, Velasquez (12-1) gave her response to Carmouche’s comments, staying adamant that the bout should not have been stopped.

“Liz is Liz, and I am myself. So of course she would have that to say, because she wasn’t the one who got the wrong decision,” Velasquez told Cageside Press and other media outlets. “Everyone knows it shouldn’t have been stopped. I even had ‘Big’ John McCarthy on my side when I appealed to the commission. That’s how things go.”

The finish in their first fight came in round four, with Carmouche raining down elbows on the Brazilian. Velasquez contends she never stopped fighting or defending herself. And in her mind, even after the loss, she remained a champion.

“To me, I’m still the champion. Ever since that fight was over, I still thought of myself as a champion,” she stated. “In my preparation, that’s what I thought, and coming into this fight, that’s what I will be thinking.”

With all that said, ahead of the pair’s immediate rematch this Friday in Connecticut, Velasquez has put the loss behind her. A lengthy history in Judo has helped with that.

“The stoppage definitely didn’t sit well with me, because I was winning all of the rounds in that fight. I had the fight won already. But I’m not very frustrated about it, because it’s something I’ve been through in my life as an athlete before,” she explained. “In Judo, if I lost, I would have to get back on track pretty fast, because I still had to fight for the third place medal. So it doesn’t effect me at all, and I’ve built myself back up and I’m ready to get this belt back now.”

Juliana Velasquez meets Liz Carmouche in the co-main event of Bellator 289 this Friday, December 9, 2022 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.