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Bellator 278: Liz Carmouche stops Juliana Velasquez to win flyweight crown

Some wonder if referee Mike Beltran stopped the bout too soon

Liz Carmouche shocked many when she stopped Juliana Velasquez to win the flyweight crown at Bellator 278, but it did not come without controversy.

After four hotly contested rounds, Carmouche got the fight to the ground and trapped Velasquez near the corner in a crucifix and rained down elbows that forced referee Mike Beltran to call the bout at 4:47.

According to two judges scorecards, Velasquez was up 30-27 going into the fourth round. There was a lot of support for Velasquez online as well.

Velasquez and her corner immediately disputed the decision, but it goes into the books as a  TKO stoppage for the former military veteran, who said afterwards that she agreed with Beltran’s call.

The win gave Carmouche her first major title victory at 38 years old. She said earlier in the preamble that training with former champion Ilima Lei-Macfarlane helped her tremndously and it appears she was correct. Now the ball is in Velasquez’s court to respond.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.

In case you missed the prelims:

BLAKE PERRY DEF. MAKOA COOPER VIA SUBMISSION (ANACONDA CHOKE) R2 4:14

DANTE SCHIRO DEF. SCOTTY HAO VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R3 1:03

WEBER ALMEIDA DEF. FABRICIO FRANCO VIA TKO  (LEG KICK) R1 3:01

MAIN CARD

LUIS MURO VS. NATE ANDREWS

WINNER: LUIS MURO VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: NATE ANDREWS VIA UD 

Andrews: This fight was a not much of a barnburner.

GRANT NEAL VS. CHRISTIAN EDWARDS 

WINNER: GRANT NEAL VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: GRANT NEAL VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Edwards had a 5-inch height advantage squandered yet again.

JOMEL LUGO VS. DANNY SABATELLO

WINNER: DANNY SABATELLO VIA UD (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JOMEL LUGO VIA UD

Andrews: Give Sabatello credit. He took care of business here.

Andrews Prediction: Jomel Lugo via UD

 ENRIQUE BARZOLA VS. NIKITA MIKAHILOV 

WINNER: ENRIQUE BARZOLA VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ENRIQUE BARZOLA VIA UD

Andrews: Good win for Enrique.

MAIN EVENT

JULIANNA VELASQUEZ VS. LIZ CARMOUCHE 

Andrews: Carmouche says she has an advantage in training with former champion  Iiima Lei-Macfarlane. It is indeed helpful, but it won’t be enough. Velasquez is a certified beast, and Camouche needs to be extremely prepared on the ground, which is where the fight will be won for Velasquez.

Andrews Prediction: Juliana Velasquez via UD

The next Bellator event is Bellator 279, which takes place tonight in Honolulu. Featherweight champion Cris Cyborg takes on challenger Arlene Blencowe in a rematch.

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrews
KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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