Liz Carmouche is one of the pioneers of women’s MMA, competing on some of the biggest stages in this sport and challenging for multiple championships at bantamweight and flyweight. Carmouche, a USMC veteran, signed with Bellator in 2020 and ended up going a perfect 7-0, defeating her opponent tonight, Julianna Velasquez, to win the Bellator women’s flyweight championship. After defeating Velasquez in a rematch, Carmouche went on to also defend the championship against DeAnna Bennett and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.


Velasquez turned pro in 2014 and ended up signing with Bellator three years later. Her two losses to Carmouche mark the only two times she’s tasted defeat in her career. Velasquez, a judo black belt and former Brazilian national judo champion, defeated Macfarlane at Bellator 254 to capture the Bellator women’s flyweight championship. She defended the title once – defeating Denise Kielholtz in a split decision – before dropping it to Carmouche. Velasquez has not fought since losing the second fight at Bellator 289.


Though the Bellator Women’s Flyweight Championship may not be on the line here, it is still a trilogy bout where both women are hungry. Can Carmouche get a head start on her journey to win gold in both Bellator and PFL in her career? Or will Velasquez be able to taste sweet revenge?



Round 1


Carmouche immediately sprints across the cage and gets a body lock on Velasquez against the SmartCage. Velasquez, back pressed against the fence, looked to find a way out as they moved around the SmartCage walls. Carmouche gets a couple of knees and stomps. Velasquez reverses the position, but Carmouche gets it right back. Both women land strikes to the body. Carmouche with a few right hands to the side of Velasquez’s head as they continue to jockey for position.


The two trade punches against the SmartCage. Velasquez breaks off the grappling with a knee to the body. Combination by Carmouche backs Velasquez back up to the fence, but Velasquez turns her around once more. Carmouche tried to wrestle Velasquez heavily. Carmouche ultimately has the better positioning by the round’s end.



Round 2


Carmouche starts back with pressing Velasquez against the SmartCage. Carmouche is able to get the takedown this time, however, working on top in half guard. Carmouche has an arm around Velasquez’s neck, though Velasquez has an underhook. Carmouche worked Velasquez over on the body with left hands and knees as she tried to work into better positioning.


Velasquez tries to throw up her guard, but Carmouche stacks her. Carmouche separates herself, landing some kicks to the legs of the still-grounded Velasquez. Carmouche dives right back in, working Velasquez over again in half-guard. Carmouche works her way into side control, continuing to grind and to try and find a submission. In the closing seconds of the round, Carmouche appeared to be working for a kimura before suddenly going into an armbar attempt, punching Velasquez’s head to try and separate her hands. Unfortunately for Carmouche, the time expired before she could lock it in.




Round 3


Carmouche sprints across the SmartCage once more, and we get right back into a positon battle on the fence. Velasquez seems to have the upper hand this time, landing a couple of body shots. Carmouche with a couple of knees to the body as they battle for position. Low kick by Carmouche. Carmouche grabs a leg, but Velasquez tries to stuff the takedown, bringing herself into a guard position. Carmouche grinds away on top. Carmouche breaks off and Velasquez tries to throw kicks from the ground toward Carmouche’s legs.


Carmouche dives right back onto the ground, getting her way into side control. Carmouche continues to pressure and smother Velasquez. Carmouche gets into full mount with just over a minute left in the fight. She makes her way into high mount, potentially looking for an armbar or a choke. Velasquez tries to roll over, looking for a leg lock. Carmouche, however, counters with a heel hook attempt of her own! Neither fighter can lock in a submission, however, before the time expires.


Overall, a physical dominating display by the Bellator Women’s Flyweight Champion.





Liz Carmouche defeats Juliana Velasquez by unanimous decision (30-27x3), earning 3 points in the PFL Women’s Flyweight Division.