The coronavirus pandemic did manage to delay Juliana Velasquez’s title shot against the Bellator flyweight champion, Ilima-Lei MacFarlane, but it did not take away the Brazilian’s focus on winning the title.
Now finally booked to take on MacFarlaneat Bellator 254, Velasquez is sure she will be able to put on a stellar performance to win the title. Despite being away from the cage since last year, the challenger tells Bloody Elbow the downtime actually come in handy for her to develop her skills even more ahead of the challenge.
“I don’t think it’s going to affect me negatively. I can tell you I’m a much better fighter than I was one year ago. I used that time to improve my game in all aspects and I feel completely ready to win that belt”.
A striker, Velasquez is aware of the clash of styles ahead of her when she takes on the MacFarlane, who has much more grappling-oriented skillset. Nonetheless, Velasquez believes she is ready to fight MacFarlane no matter where the fight takes her and bets on a finish win to become the new champion.
“I don’t want to leave this fight for the judges. I see myself winning by knockout or submission. My strategy is to impose my game. She focuses more on grappling, while I do on striking. But if I feel comfortable to grapple against her and feel like I can impose my game there, I will. I’ve prepared very well and have the utmost confidence on what we trained.”
Undefeated, Juliana Velasquez (10-0) has five straight wins in the Bellator cage, including two knockouts and one submission victory. In her last outing, the 34-year-old scored a unanimous decision victory over Bruna Ellen, back in December 2019.
Now, she is expected to take on Ilima-Lei MacFarlane for the Bellator female flyweight belt, at Bellator 254, on December 10, in Uncasville, Connecticut.
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