Bellator MMA might’ve got a new flyweight champion in UFC veteran and the first female UFC fighter to headline a women’s main event alongside Ronda Rousey, Liz Carmouche, but the victory for Carmouche doesn’t come without controversy. Carmouche defeated the preceding flyweight world champion of Bellator MMA, Juliana Velasquez to claim the title at Bellator 278, which was headlined by both the women themselves.
Carmouche, who’s 17-7 in her overall MMA career, defeated Velasquez via TKO in the fourth round. Carmouche got Velasquez in crucifix position from where the former was landing elbows in volumes, but the damage was not as evident. But regardless, referee Mike Beltran stepped in to stop the fight after which Velasquez immediately resisted with only 13 seconds left in the round to actually end. Now Velasquez is looking forward to filing an appeal for the review of the loss.
Liz Carmouche believes Mike Beltran did the right thing by protecting Juliana Velasquez
In her post-fight media scrum for Bellator 278, Carmouche talks about her thoughts on the stoppage by referee Beltran and seems like she’s content with the way the fight ended, unlike Velasquez and a significant part of the MMA community.
“I think if he’d let it continue, it could’ve been a broken orbital, it could’ve been her going unconscious,” says Carmouche “I think that when he stepped in, it was the right thing to do to protect the fighter, because she wasn’t doing anything to correctly advance her position safely, and she wasn’t doing anything to defend it…
So she just kept taking it. Ending a fight that way, I’d much rather see the fighter step up and us be able to shake hands rather than her go to the hospital and not be able to remember what happened. So I think he did the right thing,” she concludes.
What do you make of Carmouche’s take on the stoppage, do you think she is right or is she being biased? Should the rematch happen immediately or should both the women move on to fight the next fight? With the victory, Carmouche not only took Velasquez’s belt, but her undefeated record as well.