Teen Juliana Velasquez started her sports career as a judoka in Brazil, but did not reach her final goal of competing for an Olympic medal. After years of transitioning to mixed martial arts, she came close to finally becoming a champ.
The 34-year-old undefeated judo player needed five wins in a row to earn a chance for 125-pound flyweight queen Elima Lee McFarlane in Thursday’s main event Bellator 254 in Uncasville, Connecticut. Now, but he knows it will be a life-changing moment.
“I always try to be the best in everything I do,” Velasquez said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “In judo, I tried to get a place in the Olympiad and compete for one, but unfortunately I didn’t. I am able to fight for a world title in MMA now. I think this title is equivalent to an Olympic medal for me … (but) I’ll just think In the belt after (the fight).
“I face this battle like any other fight, like every other fight I’ve fought. I always have the same mentality, the same hunger, the same desire to win. The belt is just an addition. But I really want this title, to have this belt, not only for myself but for my team as well.” , As you know? “
Macfarlane, who is also unbeaten as an MMA fighter with eight times in 11 professional wins, has been one of the faces of Bellator over the past few years. For Velasquez, being the one who stopped her could finally convince the promotion to hold an event in Brazil in 2021.
Velasquez said, “(Defeating her) would be great because we already have a (female) heroine in Pilator, (Chris) Cyborg, and I think it’d be good to have another champion.” Maybe it ends up bringing Bellator to Brazil. It will be very cool. I like fighting at home. Any athlete will do.
“We have Patricio (Pitbull) champion in Serie B, we have Douglas (Lima), and we have a cyborg. With another one, they will probably come to Brazil. That’s what I want more.”
Velasquez goes out to record history at the Mohegan Sun Arena, and is well aware that Macfarlane is not an easy match with a 70 percent finish rate under the Bellator banner. Velasquez, however, didn’t see many variations of “The Ilimalator’s”.
“The fights that I’ve seen from them have always been pretty much the same,” Velasquez said. “She has good introductions, good wrestling game, good jiu-jitsu, good defending, but … she’s really strong, but I’ve never seen her fight someone who loves to stand and who also comes from a conflict background. It’s going to be a fun fight between two undefeated athletes, and he wants no Them to lose. “
The Nogueira flyweight team portrayed itself in the worst possible scenarios of every MMA fight because “I don’t want to be frustrated or surprised by anything,” and it’s no different than Macfarlane. That is why she cannot predict the exact outcome of her Bellator 254 battles with the Champion.
“I never know how to answer this question in any of my fights,” Velasquez said when asked about an official prediction. “I always say that every athlete should be prepared in all areas, especially those of us who fight in a sport that has everything. Wherever you give me the opening, I am ready.
“If she gives me a knockout slot, I’ll take it out. If she gives me a chance to apply, I’ll send it. If he has to go a long way, no problem, I have cardio for that.”