BELLATOR 254: Juliana Velasquez wins title, show doesn't air on DAZN

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Bellator ended its year with another card from Uncasville, Connecticut that saw the crowning of a new women’s flyweight champion.

Undefeated Juliana Velasquez handed Ilima-Lei Macfarlane her first defeat while becoming the new women’s flyweight champion after earning a unanimous decision.

Velasquez, 34, joined Bellator in 2017 and went on to win five fights with the organization prior to Thursday’s championship fight with Macfarlane. The 30-year old Macfarlane was defending the championship for the fifth time after becoming the inaugural women’s 115-pound champion in November 2017 when she submitted Emily Ducote.

Judge Michael Bell scored the fight 49-46 while Sal D’Amato and Bryan Miner having it 48-47 for the new champion Velasquez. The judges all scored rounds one and three for Velasquez, as well as round four for Macfarlane with dissension over rounds two and five.

Perhaps the larger story was the event not airing on DAZN, which is the main outlet for Canadians to view the Bellator product. The promotion did stream the main card live for Canadians on YouTube.

After the card, Bellator president Scott Coker spoke with the media and indicated they would be having talks with DAZN but didn’t provide clarity regarding the status of their relationship or why the event didn’t air Thursday night.

TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter reports that Bellator will no longer be on DAZN and was issued a statement by Bellator directing Canadians to the CBS Sports Network, which is only available on a few select carriers in the country.

Bellator 254 was also highlighted by rising bantamweight star Magomed Magomedov. The 28-year old made his return after a 25-month layoff and dominated opponent Matheus Mattos while securing a unanimous decision victory and improving to 16-1.

It was Magomedov’s promotional debut after previously fighting with ACB and M-1 Challenge and made his pro debut in April 2011.

The main card featured Linton Vassell secure his second consecutive victory at the heavyweight division, stopping Ronny Markes in 3:37 of the second round.

Vassell has fought for Bellator for over seven years and unsuccessfully challenged for the light heavyweight championship twice prior to moving up in weight last year. The TKO victory improves Vassell’s record to 20-8 with one no contest.

*Women’s Strawweight Championship: Juliana Velasquez def. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (champion) by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) to win the championship
*Magomed Magomedov def. Matheus Mattos by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
*Linton Vassell def. Ronny Markes by TKO at 3:37 of Round 2
*Romero Cotton def. Justin Sumter by rear-naked choke at 3:36 of Round 1
*Shamil Nikaev def. Kemran Lachinov by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Grant Neal def. Maurice Jackson by rear-naked choke at 3:59 of Round 2
*Cody Law def. Kenny Champion by TKO at 4:44 of Round 3
*Billy Goff def. Robson Gracie Jr. by TKO at 1:46 of Round 2

Very frustrating moment as I got home just in time for the prelims to start and couldn’t find it on DAZN and couldn’t find any info other than it being on CBS Sports, which we don’t get in Canada.

You’d think Bellator would do a better job of advertising where to watch it’s show, but no.

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