Liz Carmouche finally claimed a world title, but the win was steeped in controversy.
Flyweight champion Juliana Velasquez was giving Carmouche all she could handle for the better part of twenty minutes at Bellator 278 in Honolulu on Friday night. Or at least, she was until late in the fourth round when Carmouche secured a takedown and advanced to the top crucifix position, where the UFC veteran began to drop short elbows on the champion’s face.
Though the blows did not appear to be seriously damaging, referee Mike Beltran jumped in once he deemed that Velasquez was unable to escape the position, stopping the bout at 4:47 of the fourth round.
Velasquez immediately protested the stoppage, and according to many in the MMA world, she had good reason to. See what Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull and others in the MMA world had to say about the controversial main event below.
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) April 23, 2022
— Patricio Pitbull (@PatricioPitbull) April 23, 2022
— Diana Belbiță (@DianaBelbita) April 23, 2022
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) April 23, 2022
— E. Casey Leydon (@ekc) April 23, 2022
I can’t wait for the conspiracy theories about former Marine Mike Beltran stopping that fight early for former Marine Liz Carmouche, because it is coming.
— Jed Meshew II (@JedKMeshew) April 23, 2022