Julia Budd after Bellator 202 title defense: 'I'm the most well-rounded 145er in the world'


Julia Budd is not short on confidence following her successful title defense at Bellator 202.

Budd (12-2 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) scored one of her more decisive victories in recent memory on Friday when she defeated Talita Nogueira (7-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) by third-round TKO in the Bellator 202 headliner, which took place at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., and aired on Paramount following prelims on MMAjunkie.

With two consecutive title defenses (the most among current Bellator champs), Budd is filled with confidence. She mentioned Sinead Kavanagh (5-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) as a potential next opponent, but that’s only because she’s looking for noteworthy fights, and not because she sees the Irish fighter as a true test.

“I don’t think anyone would be a potential threat, but I think there’s some good challenges out there,” Budd told reporters following her Bellator 202 win. “I think Talita was the one to threaten it. I think she thought, ‘OK, if I got put on my back.’ It just wasn’t happening. I wasn’t going to get caught in something silly. That’s what we prepared for since March. I think if there was anything she would have been the person, but I like the idea of fighting Sinead.

“I feel like she’s kind of established herself in Bellator. Some of the other girls, they’re not fighting. I don’t know what’s going on. I know it’s not Bellator. I don’t know why they’re not fighting. They signed all these girls and it’s like, ‘Get your butts in the cage and actually prove yourselves.’ I’m not going to fight some 1-1 person that just because they call me out. … Earn your way up a little bit more.”

When it comes to the best women’s featherweight fighters in the world, there’s no doubting Budd is near the top of the list. She’s admitted UFC champ Cris Cyborg (20-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) is the clear frontrunner when it comes to divisional rankings, but she feels she brings a different skillset to the table.

“I think I’m the most well-rounded 145er in the world,” Budd declared.

In terms of moving forward, Budd just wants the most legitimate challenger the Bellator brass can present. What could be more fascinating, though, is the location of her next fight. Bellator is bundling momentum in the Canadian market, with Budd and welterweight champ Rory MacDonald (20-4 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) currently holding titles. Valerie Letourneau (10-6 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) is expected as the next title challenger at flyweight, and Budd said she’s interested in the idea of a blowout card on home soil.

“I’d be down for that,” Budd said. “Wherever. I’d love to fight in Montreal, I have tons of family in Toronto, I have tons of family in B.C. and it would be cool to go somewhere in Canada and represent, but I’ve actually started to grow and like it down here in Thackerville, as well. I’ve got lots of family. It’s my fourth time down here. Wherever it is I’m all good.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 202, check out the MMA Events section of the site.



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