THACKERVILLE, Okla. – Julia Budd is dialed in on Friday’s Bellator 224 title defense against Olga Rubin, but the featherweight champion sees some big fights on the horizon after signing a new four-fight deal with the promotion.
The “big” can be emphasized for one fight in particular. Budd (12-2 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) said her champion status paired with Bellator’s strong relationship with the Japan-based Rizin FF organization could open the door for a showdown with undefeated heavyweight Gabi Garcia (6-0).
Thus far Garcia, who is also a renowned grappling specialist, has faced no equal in MMA. She’s finished every opponent and allowed just one beyond the four-minute mark. None of those foes have accomplished a fraction of what Budd has in the sport, though, and she said she’s like to test herself against the Brazilian.
“Definitely (I’d like that fight),” Budd told MMA Junkie. “Lance Gibson (who is) my trainer, coach, husband; when he first started he was fighting guys that were over 100 pounds bigger than him back in the day. Those fights always kind of were exciting to me. It’s like, ‘OK, I want to see how my martial arts skills fair against someone that’s double my size.’ I think that would be really exciting.”
First things first, though, Budd has to put her 145-pound belt on the line against Rubin (6-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) in the Bellator 224 headliner, which takes place at WinStar World Resort & Casino in Thackerville, Okla., and airs on Paramount following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Budd credited Rubin as one of the few fighters in her division who has been able to put together a consistent winning streak. The champion has a winning streak of her own, though, and it currently stand at 10 fights. Naturally, she doesn’t want it to end.
“I think she’s well rounded,” Budd said. “I’ve studied her style and see where my strengths are. I’m really excited. I think it’s the perfect type of opponent for me.”
Although every fight is important, Budd’s next one seems to hold additional meaning. Budd has been relegated to defending against largely unknowns through her title reign, but more attractive matchups appear to be just around the corner.
Garcia is the “fantasy” fight, Budd said, but she also sees the likes of Leslie Smith (10-7-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) – who also competes at Bellator 224 – and Cris Cyborg (20-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) coming into play, as well.
“Leslie definitely is exciting,” Budd said. “They were saying Cyborg’s going to be a free agent after (UFC 240 on) July 27. That would be amazing for me. As for some of the other girls, the thing is they got to put together a winning streak.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Bellator champ Julia Budd interested in Rizin FF fight with 'double my size' Gabi Garcia