Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Can Liz Carmouche finally claim gold? –

Bellator kicks off its weekend doubleheader on Friday with Bellator 278, which takes place at Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu and airs on Showtime following prelims streamed on MMA Junkie.

The first of three championship fights for the promotion on the weekend headlines the event. Women’s flyweight titleholder Juliana Velasquez (12-0 MMA, 7-0 BMMA) returns to action when she puts her belt up for grabs for the first time against former UFC title challenger Liz Carmouche (16-7 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), who looks to claim gold at 38 years old.

For more on the numbers behind the card, check below for MMA Junkie’s pre-event facts about Bellator 278.

Juliana Velasquez

Juliana Velasquez

Velasquez is one of two women’s flyweight champions in Bellator history. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane also accomplished the feat

Velasquez’s seven-fight Bellator winning streak at women’s flyweight is the longest active streak in the division.

Velasquez’s seven victories in Bellator women’s flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (10).

Velasquez’s three stoppage victories in Bellator flyweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Macfarlane (seven) and Denise Kielholtz (five).

Velasquez’s two knockout victories in Bellator flyweight competition are tied with four others for most in divisional history.

Liz Carmouche

Liz Carmouche

Carmouche became the first female fighter in UFC history to enter the octagon at UFC 157 in February 2013.

Carmouche challenged for the UFC women’s bantamweight and flyweight titles during her tenure with the promotion.

Carmouche’s three-fight Bellator winning streak at women’s flyweight is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Velasquez (six) and Denise Kielholtz (four).

Carmouche is 5-2 since she dropped to the women’s flyweight division in December 2017.

Carmouche has earned 10 of her 16 career victories by stoppage.

Enrique Barzola vs. Nikita Mikhailov

Enrique Barzola

Enrique Barzola (17-5-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) is 1-0-1 since he dropped to the bantamweight division in March 2019.

Jornel Lugo vs. Danny Sabatello

Jornel Lugo’s (8-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) makes his second Bellator appearance in a 46-day stretch. He was victorious at Bellator 275 on Feb. 25.

Lugo five-fight Bellator winning streak at bantamweight is tied with Raufeon Stots and Jaylon Bates for the longest active streak in the division.

Lugo has earned four of his five Bellator victories by decision.

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