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Juliana Velasquez ‘disgusted’ by controversial stoppage at Bellator 278, wants result overturned

Velasquez suffered the first defeat of her professional career at Bellator 278 on Friday. 

Juliana Velasquez at Bellator 254.
Juliana Velasquez at Bellator 254.
Bellator MMA

Juliana Velasquez wants a rematch and the result of her fight against Liz Carmouche at Bellator 278 to be overturned.

Velasquez was defending her flyweight championship against the former No. 1 contender in Carmouche on Friday night. The ex-champion was doing well until she was taken down in the fourth round by the challenger, who immediately got into a top crucifix position and dropped elbows. Referee Mike Beltran saw Velasquez could not defend herself and stopped the fight, much to the chagrin of the Brazilian and her team.

Fans and pundits were in agreement that the stoppage seemed fairly early. Velasquez concurred and expressed as much in her first post-fight comments since the controversial ending.

“What an odd night!!,” Velasquez wrote. “I dominated the fight, I dropped her twice on her ass, judges had me up 3-0 and the fight is stopped just like that? She didn’t even put a scratch on my face! I have no idea what the referee saw, but this was a total bulls—t! Come on!!! I am disgusted! [Scott Coker] [Bellator MMA] let’s run it back. And I want this result overturned.”

Velasquez was indeed winning the fight on the judges’ scorecards. She was given all three rounds by two judges and two of three rounds by the other judge.

The Brazilian also told Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting that she will be filing an appeal with the Hawaii State Boxing Commission to overturn the fourth-round technical knockout loss into a No Contest.

“We’ll try to reverse this because when you’re winning a title fight and there’s [13] seconds left and the guy stops it like that, it just can’t happen,” said Velasquez. “Mike Beltran is a referee and is a human being, and people make mistakes. We all can [make mistakes], but these mistakes cost a lot in our lives in terms of media attention and salary. You can’t have mistakes like that.”

Though Velasquez said she wanted an immediate rematch with Carmouche next, it appears it may not happen anytime soon. The newly crowned champion defended her win and gave credit to Beltran for his stoppage, which she said prevented Velasquez from being on the receiving end of more unnecessary damage.

Carmouche then explained she had no interest in a second fight with her former opponent because she would rather face a new challenge.

“I hope not,” said Carmouche at her post-fight press conference. “I get kind of bored with rematches. I like to see something different and kind of change it up, and I’d love an opportunity to let somebody else in the division work their way up and to see what else I can show off in the cage.”