Tonight kicks off a two-night MMA event in Hawaii as Bellator 278 takes center stage. In the main event of the evening, the women’s flyweight title is on the line as the undefeated champion Julianna Velasquez (12-0) looks to defeat former two-time UFC title challenger Liz Carmouche (16-7).
For Liz Carmouche, this is going to be her third crack at a world championship. Her first came back in 2013 when she came up short against Ronda Rousey. Following that fight, she had an impressive run in the UFC that led to her title shot against Valentina Shevchenko.
During that run, she had wins over the likes of Jessica Andrade, Lauren Murphy, and Katyln Chookagian. After she lost to Shevchenko, she was released and she signed with Bellator. So far, she’s 3-0 in Bellator with two finishes.
Standing across from her tonight is the unbeaten champion Julianna Velasquez. Velasquez won the title at Bellator 254 in a battle of the unbeatens as she defeated former champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.
In her lone title defense, she had a razor close fight with Denise Kieholtz. She won the matchup by split decision and retained her Bellator title.
Bellator 278 Prediction
There is a lot of money on Julianna Velasquez at Bellator 278, but I think that Liz Carmouche is a very live dog. In terms of competition, there’s no doubt who has been in there with the tougher competition.
Carmouche has two fights against Valentina Shevchenko and she’s fought three other former UFC champions. She’s not going to be intimidated and she’s coming to Bellator 278 to win the title.
She’s going to have the power advantage and she needs to use it. Carmouche cannot let Velasquez dictate where this fight takes place. Velasquez is very good on the ground and she also is very good in the clinch.
If she’s able to dictate range and location, she’s going to retain her title. I think this Bellator 278 main event is incredibly close and competitive. In the end, I think Velasquez is going to edge this one out by decision. However, if I was betting money on the fight, I think your better bet from a betting perspective is with the challenger.
Prediction: Julianna Velasquez by Decision