Bellator 289: Liz Carmouche Subs Juliana Velasquez, Eliminates Any Doubt as to Legitimacy of Title Reign

Liz Carmouche following her win over Juliana Velasquez, Bellator 289
Liz Carmouche following her win over Juliana Velasquez, Bellator 289 Credit: Bellator MMA

Liz Carmouche and Juliana Velasquez ran it back in the co-main event of Bellator 289 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT on Friday night.

Their first fight had ended in controversy, at least if you were Velasquez. The Brazilian had appealed the outcome with Hawaii’s athletic commission, arguing the fourth-round TKO stoppage had come early.

Those pleas fell on deaf ears; instead, the rematch was booked, with Velasquez looking to avenge the first loss of her mixed martial arts career.

Carmouche closed the distance immediately off the opening bell, getting in the face of Velasquez and tying her up before landing some heavy foot stomps. The champ added a knee or two to the thigh, then added punches to the body when she couldn’t get the fight down. Velasquez reversed, but didn’t stay in control long as Carmouche turned things back around.

Velasquez would reverse things again a moment later, and add a couple of foot stomps of her own. Neither woman was giving an inch, but neither was able to get the fight down, resulting in something of a stalemate. The ref restarted the action at center with all of 30 seconds left, but the song remained the same.

Round two would see Carmouche shooting, getting the fight down and leading to an instant scramble. Velasquez got her back to the fence, but Carmouche was able to tie up her legs. The grinding approach didn’t prove popular with fans, but it would lead to the finish. Carmouche was able to to lock up an arm-bar, with Velasquez stuck in north-south and in no position to defend it. The tap came, and Liz Carmouche eliminated any doubt as to the legitimacy of her title reign!

Official Result: Liz Carmouche def. Juliana Velasquez by submission (arm-bar), Round 2, 4:24