Bellator 278: Liz Carmocuhe defeats Julianna Velasquez to win 125-pound title

Originally published at Bellator 278: Liz Carmocuhe defeats Julianna Velasquez to win 125-pound title

Liz Carmouche is the new Bellator Flyweight Champion.

After three previous losses in title fights, Carmouche is finally a champion at the age of 37 after stopping Julianna Velasquez in the fourth of the Bellator 278 main event.

The finish was not without controversy as many complained it was an early stoppage as Carmouche was administering elbow strikes to Velasquez from the crucifix position against the fence.

Your new flyweight champ is @IAmGirlRilla!

Liz gets it done tonight with a hard-fought win at #Bellator278. pic.twitter.com/u7c4p4NK5V

— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) April 23, 2022

Carmouche has been fighting professionally since 2010. She challenged then Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen in March 2011 where she was submitted. In February 2013, she was submitted by UFC bantamweight champion Rousey at UFC 157 and lost to current UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko by unanimous decision in August 2019.

The loss represents the first one of Velasquez’s career. The 35-year-old became the flyweight champion when she beat Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in December 2020 at Bellator 254.

Bellator 278 also featured two wild card qualifying fights for the Bantamweight World Grand Prix. Enrique Barzola defeated Nikita Mikhailov by unanimous decision on straight scores of 30-27 while Danny Sabatello earned a unanimous decision against Jornel Lugo with 30-26 scores across the board.

Enrique Barzola will now move on to fight Magomed Magomedov in the first round of the tournament while Danny Sabatello fights Leandro Higo in the first round later this year.

The official @BellatorMMA Bantamweight World Grand Prix bracket – #Bellator278 pic.twitter.com/KiSYFUcQlu

— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) April 23, 2022

Bellator will stage another card from the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday featuring Cris Cyborg defending the women’s 145-pound title against Arlene Blencowe along with two opening-round matches in the Bantamweight World Grand Prix with Juan Archuleta against Raufeon Stots to determine the interim champion, and Kyoji Horiguchi squaring off with Patchy Mix.

Here are the results from Bellator 278 on Friday night:
*Women’s Flyweight Championship: Liz Carmouche def. Julianna Velasquez (champion) by TKO at 4:47 of Round 4
*Bantamweight World Grand Prix Wild Card Qualifier: Enrique Barzola def. Nikita Mikhailov by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Bantamweight World Grand Prix Wild Card Qualifier: Danny Sabatello def. Jornel Lugo by unanimous decision (30-26 all) – 140-pound catchweight
*Grant Neal def. Christian Edwards by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Manny Muro def. Nate Andrews by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Weber Almeida def. Fabricio Franco by TKO at 3:01 of Round 1
*Dante Schiro def. Scotty Hao by TKO at 1:03 of Round 3
*Blake Perry def. Makoa Cooper by Anaconda choke at 4:14 of Round 2

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