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Bellator 224 results: Julia Budd destroys Olga Rubin with body shots, calls out Gabi Garcia

Check out the results and highlights from the Bellator 224 main card, where Julia Budd ran through Olga Rubin in the first round of the main event.

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MMA: Bellator 189-Budd vs Blencowe Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

Bellator 224 just wrapped up from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma with women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd stopping challenger Olga Rubin with body shots at just 2:14 of the opening round. Being Bellator’s first and only 145-pound champ, Budd has now defended her crown three consecutive times and is on an impressive 11-fight winning streak. In her post-fight interview, she said she was willing to give MMA veteran Leslie Smith the next shot at Bellator gold. Smith won her Bellator debut tonight with a majority decision over Sinead Kavanagh. In a rather exciting callout, Budd also mentioned her desire to travel over to RIZIN FF in Japan to take on the much larger heavyweight Gabi Garcia. Who wouldn’t love to see that?

Now training with American Top Team, Bellator’s former middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho leaned on his grappling to take a unanimous decision over Chidi Njokuani. This snaps a two-fight losing skid for the now 16-3 Carvalho, who still appears to be improving as a well-rounded fighter. Before that, Judo black belt Juliana Velasquez earned her fourth straight Bellator victory when she stopped Kristina Williams on the feet with strikes in the second round. Her punches were hitting early and hitting hard, and they continued to build as the fight carried on. Now moving to 9-0, it appears that Velasquez will be next in line to face Bellator’s flyweight queen Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.

Opening up the main card, three-time NCAA Division I national champion Ed Ruth picked up the biggest win of his young MMA career when he stopped UFC veteran Kiichi Kunimoto with strikes in the second round. The now 7-1 Ruth got himself back into the win column in a great way, reestablishing himself as one of Bellator’s top prospects. On the prelims, BJJ standout AJ Agazarm pulled out a first round submission of Jacob Landin to move to 1-1 in his MMA career. Also on the undercard, former GLORY kickboxing featherweight champ Gabriel Varga got a second round TKO stoppage in his professional MMA debut.

Main Card:

Julia Budd def. Olga Rubin by TKO at 2:14 of round 1: (W) Featherweight Title

Budd opened up the match with a head kick that connected. Rubin ate it without issue, but Budd wasn’t done. She landed a mean teep kick to the gut that visibly hurt Rubin. The champ blitzed in with a flurry of clean punches as Rubin retreated to the fence. Another knee to the midsection was the final nail in the coffin, causing Rubin to collapse to the floor in agony. That’s when the referee stepped in.

Rafael Carvalho def. Chidi Njokuani by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): 190-pound catchweight

Njokuani initiated the clinch early in the fight but that’s where Carvalho established control. He was able to land short knees and elbows, and even hit a short lived body lock takedown. Njokuani struggled to get his back off of the cage, and then to make things worse, he gave up a last second takedown to the former champ.

Njokuani started cracking body kicks to open up the second round. The kicks quickly slowed down the pressure of Carvalho, causing him to back off for a moment. Not quite to the half way point of the round, Carvalho was able to regain control against the cage in the clinch. He followed up by securing a takedown and planting Njokuani’s back to the canvas. A referee standup allowed Njokuani to land a few more body kicks just before the round ended.

Carvalho got back to grinding on Njokuani against the fence in the final round, which ultimately led to a takedown. The former champ worked steadily from the top, dropping punches and staying busy. Njokuani did scramble up to his feet and found his way into top position in the closing moments, but he failed to deliver any meaningful damage before time ran out.

Juliana Velasquez def. Kristina Williams by TKO at 4:03 of round 2: (W) Flyweight

The flyweights went right at each other to start this bout. Velasquez was hitting home with her hands, backing up Williams and not allowing her time to fully set her feet. Williams stayed competitive, but Velasquez was the one leading the dance. Velasquez really turned it up in the second round. She pressed forward and started to pour on the punches. Williams tried her best, but began to wilt up against the fence. Velasquez kept pouring on the volume until Williams dropped down to the canvas, prompting the referee to wave off the bout.

Ed Ruth def. Kiichi Kunimoto by TKO at 3:49 of round 2: Welterweight

Kunimoto looked to work his kicks early in the fight while Ruth got busy with his hands. Once they locked up, it was Ruth who was able to find top position a couple of times. Kunimoto remained relatively safe off of his back, but was busy defending.

Both fighters were content to stand and trade in the second act. Kunimoto found success with his hands before Ruth started to press with his kicks. As Kunimoto shot in for a takedown, Ruth blasted him with a kick, but the knee landed. Kunimoto failed at the takedown and Ruth immediately took top position. Ruth smelled blood and down came the ground strikes. Kunimoto wasn’t able to recover and the referee stopped the fight.

Prelims:

  • Nainoa Dung def. Brad Robison by unanimous decision: Lightweight
  • Gabriel Varga def. Jamese Taylor by TKO at 3:23 of round 2: Featherweight
  • Mike Jackson def. Kiefer Crosbie by DQ (Illegal Knee) in round 1: 165-pound catchweight
  • Leslie Smith def. Sinead Kavanagh by majority decision: (W) Featherweight
  • Jordan Young def. Joel Bauman by submission (Triangle) at 3:20 of round 1 : Light Heavyweight
  • Arlene Blencowe def. Amanda Bell by KO at 0:22 of round 1: (W) Featherweight
  • Will Fleury def. Antonio Jones by unanimous decision: 190-pound catchweight
  • AJ Agazarm def. Jacob Landin by submission (RNC) at 4:21 of round 1 : Lightweight
  • Christian Edwards def. Justin Vargas by knockout at :54 of round 1: Light Heavyweight

Darklims:

Kona Oliveira vs. Joseph Holmes : Welterweight

Bruna Ellen vs. Elina Kallionidou : (W) Flyweight

Lucas Brennan vs. Thomas Lopez : Featherweight