Liz Carmouche retained her women’s flyweight title at Bellator 294 on Friday night in Honolulu, Hawaii. But despite the submission win, Carmouche remained fixated on opponent DeAnna Bennett’s “lack of professionalism” after the would-be challenger missed weight for the fight.
Carmouche (19-7) picked up the win care of a fourth-round arm-triangle choke, but to that point, “The Girl-Rilla” had been rather shockingly losing the bout on the scorecards. Bennett was up 30-27 heading into the fourth, before Carmouche finally took over and put her away.
The champion revealed during Friday’s post-fight press conference that she didn’t plan to go into the fourth round. “It wasn’t what I was banking on. I wasn’t planning on having to carry into the fourth and fifth rounds in a championship fight. I wanted to finish her off and make a huge statement, and shut her up and get her out of this sport so she can take her crude remarks and lack of professionalism somewhere else,” Carmouche exclaimed.
For Carmouche, there are simply no excuses for the failure to make championship weight, especially after Bennett did the same in the pair’s first fight in 2020. Bennett has, in fact, missed weight for three of her five Bellator fights.
“Just like her previous fights she’s like ‘hey I’m so sorry, I just didn’t make weight, complications.’ I just don’t want to hear it. Last time she said ‘oh well my menstrual cycle, it was that time of the month.’ Yeah, so was mine. But I made the weight.'”
The former two-time UFC title challenger (at bantamweight and flyweight) added that she most definitely felt the difference in Bennett once the fight kicked off.
“If there’s one thing I could feel in the way her body was moving, she didn’t struggle to miss weight,” Carmouche suggested. “She struggled in having to go back four times and keep being pushed to make it, but even then she still didn’t make the weight. And I could feel that in the beginning, but eventually, she wasn’t going back, her gas tank didn’t have it no matter what she did.”
“If you watched her, every time she had to go back up on the scale, there was nobody having to walk with her. It was an ease up there. She kind of made a face like ‘oh I know I’m not going to make it.’ If you have to energy to put on a face, if you have the energy to joke around and make light of the fact that you’re not making weight, you have the energy to stay in that sauna, work out, and make the weight.”
“So she was fine,” Carmouche continued. “It’s just, her claim to fame in this sport is missing weight, not making weight. That shouldn’t be it. You’re a professional MMA fighter. You think you deserve to be the champion by missing weight, and that’s your whole career? You don’t deserve to have the belt.”
Had Bennett made weight for Friday’s title fight, Carmouche would be singing a different tune. “Now if she had put on that performance by making weight, I would be saying something different,” she stated. “I would give her props for what she did. But the reality is she cheated yet again by missing weight, like I said she would before this fight.”
Watch the full Bellator 294 post-fight press conference with Liz Carmouche above.