Liz Carmouche is defending the Bellator flyweight championship against the woman she recently dethroned: Juliana Velasquez.
Carmouche upset Velasquez at Bellator 278 this past April. Down on all judges’ scorecards, ‘Girl-Rilla’ rallied and finished Velasquez via fourth-round TKO, but the win was shrouded in controversy. Though pinned under Carmouche in crucifix position and elbowed repeatedly, the ex-champion argued they ‘had no effect’ and should not have warranted a stoppage.
Velasquez filed an appeal for the loss to be overturned to a No Contest, but it was denied by the Hawaii State Boxing Commission. In its ruling, the commission agreed with referee Mike Beltran and his ‘decision to err on the side of caution’ when stopping the fight.
The newly crowned champion defended Beltran, who she believed ‘did the right thing’ to prevent Velasquez from either suffering an injury or going unconscious. When asked if she was interested in an immediate rematch, Carmouche was less than enthused and hoped to defend against a fresh challenger in the division. That may have to wait, depending on the outcome of her upcoming rematch.
With the win over Velasquez, Carmouche is now 4-0 in Bellator. The Team Hurricane Awesome product also holds wins over DeAnna Bennett, Vanessa Porto and Kana Watanabe.
Bellator 289 is headlined by Raufeon Stots vs. Danny Sabatello, one of two semifinals fights in the Bantamweight World Grand Prix.