Juliana Velasquez

Juliana Velasquez to defend flyweight belt in April against Liz Carmouche, says Scott Coker

Juliana Velasquez will be looking to defend her flyweight title in April, Bellator president, Scott Coker says.

Speaking to MMAJunkie, Coker revealed Velasquez will take on Liz Carmouche next time out, with the fight targeted to take place in April, but the exact date and location have not been announced.

“I believe that fight will happen in April,” Coker said. “I think that’s when we were told Velasquez would be ready to go so. As soon as she’s ready, we’ll get her back in there, but I think April is the date. All of our champions, the launch of the tournament, the finals of our light heavyweight tournament, the (Michael Page) fight, Juliana Velasquez, Cyborg – all these fights will happen let’s say between January and April. It’s kind of what we’re shooting for.”

Although Carmouche has looked impressive so far, many thought Ilima-Lei Macfarlane was going to get a chance to reclaim her belt. Yet, according to Coker, the former champ just underwent surgery and is still rehabbing, which is why Carmouche got the next shot.

“We have been talking to her,” Coker said. “She’s coming off a surgery so she’s just been recovering and rehabilitating, so she’s been going through a lot of treatment on her knee. I talked to her probably two, three weeks ago, she feels that she’ll be ready sometime in April or May.”

Juliana Velasquez (12-0) is coming off her first title defense as she beat Denise Kielholtz by split decision at Bellator 262 in July. Prior to that, she defeated Macfarlane by decision at Bellator 254 to become the new champion. She also holds notable wins over Alejandra Lara, and Kristina Williams among others.

Liz Carmouche (16-7) is 3-0 in Bellator since her surprising release from the UFC after she lost to Valentina Shevchenko for the belt. Since joining Bellator, she defeated DeAnna Bennett by submission, a decision win over Vanessa Porto, and a TKO win over Kana Watanbe.

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Cole Shelton
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime