Bellator 224 is the farthest event out on the promotion’s calendar as of right now and with only one fight booked, it has now gotten another.
theScore has confirmed that a likely No. 1 contender bout in the 125-pound flyweight division will go down at the July 12 event in Thackerville, Oklahoma as undefeated Brazilian, Juliana Velasquez (8-0) will return to face off with dangerous kickboxer, Kristina “Warhorse” Williams (3-1).
For the Judoka in Velasquez, it was expected that after her last victory at Bellator 212 in December 2018 over recent title challenger, Alejandra Lara, that she would very well be poised for the next crack at gold. Instead, that went to Veta Arteaga who would face off with the reigning champion, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane at Bellator 220 in April. Macfarlane would win that bout via third-round TKO (doctor’s stoppage due to a cut).
The same weekend that Velasquez defeated Lara, Macfarlane also successfully defended her title against Valerie Letourneau. Now with the news of this fight, it seems like one more win could do the trick for the Team Nogueira product.
However, she has no easy task in front of her in the nasty striker that is Williams. Softspoken outside of the cage… inside of it is a different story.
The “Warhorse” will have a home game in this upcoming bout when she returns to her home state after earning an impressive win over another rising contender in Bruna Ellen at Bellator 210 in November 2018. Williams’ only career loss came to the aforementioned Letourneau in the fight prior to her last.
As for the only other fight announced for Bellator 224 so far, the featherweight title will be on the line as the dominant champion, Julia “The Jewel” Budd takes on the continually impressive and sneakily talented Russian, “Big Bad” Olga Rubin.
A win for Bellator’s only female featherweight champion in their history in Budd would equal out to her third career title defense after winning the belt against Marloes Coenen in March 2017.
Drake Riggs is an MMA writer who specializes in feature pieces, the women's fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided MMA, The Body Lock, Cageside Press, Sherdog, and MMA Today. He is also a longtime fan of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.