Julia Budd’s fight with Gabrielle Holloway. Alternative commentary.
Critics and fans could say Julia “The Jewel” Budd took a risk when she decided to sign with Bellator MMA in August 2014. The promotion hadn’t featured a women’s bout since 2013 and Budd was enjoying a good run in Invicta Fighting Championships.
But the gamble seems to be paying off as Budd picked picked up her second win in the Bellator cage, defeating Roberta Rovel at last night’s Bellator 146, handing the Brazilian fighter her first professional loss. Budd is currently 2-0 in the promotion and could be on her way to becoming the face of the women’s 145 division.
Two months after Scott Coker became Bellator president, he made a commitment to bring back women bouts to the promotion. Budd was one of the first competitors to sign in this new era. Prior to joining Bellator she was 4-0 in Invicta that included a first-round finish over Danielle West and a decision victory over title contender Charmaine Tweet. She may have received a title shot at some point or continue to fight on the promotion’s main card.
Fighting for Bellator has given Budd a chance to make her mark in new territory and face both experienced opponents, as well as prospects. Before the Rovel fight, Budd defeated Gabrielle Holloway in what was both fighters’ Bellator debut.
With two wins under her belt, Budd is ready to fight for Bellator’s 145-pound title. In an interview with MMAJunkie, she said she was originally scheduled to face Marloes Coenen for the title, but the latter decided to have surgery. Rather than wait for Coenen, Budd continued to train and compete. Coenen would most likely face Budd for the title. She’s 2-0 in Bellator, is a former Strikeforce world champion and is regarded as one of the best submission fighters in women’s MMA. Like Budd she’s also faced some of the top fighters in the sport.
Budd made her professional MMA debut in 2010, going 2-2 in her first four fights. She had wins over Shana Nelson and Germaine de Randamie and losses to Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes. Prior to entering MMA, Budd was an accomplished Muay Thai fighter with a 10-2 professional record and wins over Gina Carano and de Randamie.
When it comes to its women’s 145 division, Bellator has the talent in place, they now just need a champion. Once Coenen heals from surgery, I could see her and Budd fight to become the promotion’s first wommen’s 145 champion. If the former Strikeforce titleholder isn’t ready, I say let Budd fight the next competitor in line, whoever it may be.