Juliana Velasquez to appeal TKO loss at Bellator 278, reacts to Liz Carmouche’s immediate rematch denial


Juliana Velasquez is not happy with the officiating in her Bellator 278 championship clash with Liz Carmouche on Friday at Bellator 278.

Velasquez entered the cage in Honolulu as an undefeated flyweight against Carmouche and was up in all scorecards, including two 30-27s, before referee Mike Beltran called the stop to the bout with 13 seconds left in the fourth round.

The Brazilian flyweight was upset she wasn’t given an opportunity to voice her discontent in a post-fight interview or in a post-fight scrum backstage. She reached out to MMA Fighting to inform her team will file an official appeal with the Hawaii State Boxing Commission on Monday.

“The elbow had no effect,” Velasquez said of the strikes Carmouche was landing from crucifix position that led to the stoppage. My face is perfectly clean, she had no angle. Nothing happened, really.

“I was trying to show [the referee] I was fine, and as I was trying to free my arm, he stopped it. He said that my hips were too high, and I was now out. That’s my point. He claimed I was out, but how can you go out and continue to keep your hips high? Her elbows were not effective.” Her elbows were not effective.”

Velasquez stated that “we will file a appeal and do all we can to make this a no contest.” She also recalled Beltran being the referee for the title bout between Patricio pitbull and A.J. McKee complained that he wasn’t out and was not tapped by Beltran when he stopped the fight due to a choke.

” We’ll attempt to reverse it because when you win a title fight, and there are [13] second left, and the guy stops it that way it can’t happen,” Velasquez stated. Mike Beltran, a referee, is human and makes mistakes. We all can [make mistakes], but these mistakes cost a lot in our lives in terms of media attention and salary. You can’t have mistakes like that.”

Carmouche defended the referee’s call at the post-fight press conference, saying he “stepped in at the right time” because at that point the champion wasn’t defending herself. Carmouche stated that she would prefer a new opponent to fight her in the future.

Velasquez “would be surprised” if the champ did ask for a do-over.

” I’m open to a rematch,” said she. She said, “I saw [Carmouche] this morning and she didn’t want to rematch. I never saw a kid burn his hand and put his hand back in the fire, right? It’s obvious she doesn’t want a rematch. [But] I’ll do everything I can. I want a rematch and I’ll file an appeal so we can make this a no-contest. It feels like she didn’t get the belt, and that it was given to him. He took it .”

Velasquez said she understand the referee’s job is to protect the health and safety of the athlete, but she wasn’t in any danger.

“After the fight, when I told [Beltran] and [my coaches] Vander and Rick entered the cage, we look at the big screen and pointed at [Beltran], ‘look, look!'” she said. “When he looked at it, his expression was clear. Everybody saw the look at his face after watching the replay. [He looked like] ‘I f***** up.’ That was his reaction.”