Coming up this Saturday is Julia Budd’s biggest fight of her career.
The Bellator champion will face one of the most dominate females in MMA history in Cris “Cyborg” Justino at Bellator 238 at the Forum in Los Angeles, which will stream live on DAZN.
“It’s great that people are finally really tuning in and really paying attention,” Budd told the media this week. “I’ve got an opportunity like this card to showcase it on and be the headliner. It’s just amazing. It’s great. I’m just grateful for where I’ve been and the road to get here.”
“(Cyborg) wasn’t just on my radar since she came to Bellator. She’s been on my radar my entire career.”
It was pretty much fated that the two would square off, but this was a long journey to get here.
Budd started out in Muay Thai in the early part of the century, and was the only woman to defeat Gina Carano in the sport. Cyborg would be the only one to hand Carano a loss in MMA.
Budd’s only had two losses of her own in Muay Thai, one being to current bantamweight contender Germaine de Randamie. She would avenge that loss in MMA. Her only two losses in MMA were to two world champions – Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes.
After the Nunes loss, she continued to improve in all aspects of her game. The most glaring was her wrestling, something that you can’t learn overnight. Having went 4-0 in Invicta, she soon soon was signed by Bellator, who was starting a featherweight division.
After winning another three fights, she finally earned a shot for the belt against MMA legend Marloes Coenen. Budd would win in a four round war, which saw Coenen retire right after the fight.
Budd is on an 11 fight win streak and has six (T)KOs and one submission win going into Saturday. Although Budd has crossed paths with Cyborg in the past, a fight between the two never materialized. Budd feels her time is now to face the seasoned veteran in Cyborg, have improved over the decade of fighting MMA.
“I have been overlooked and it is a part of that extra little motivation of people really not knowing who I am a hundred percent and underestimating me and me going out there and being able to wow them with my skills and really show who I am as a MMA fighter.”
The odds might be against her, but Budd is sure she has the tools to win.
“I have done so much getting ready for this. I am ready for every scenario, every situation. It just has been my only focus. I have been so focused on this. I haven’t looked past it. This is everything for me and my legacy.”
We will be live on location for Bellator 238, which will feature two female division bouts. You can see coverage on twitter @WMMANews & instagram @WombatSports.