Julia Budd: The “Jewel” of the Featherweight Division

Julia Budd

Credit: mmajunkie.com


Don’t let Julia Budd’s quiet, sweet demeanor fool you. She goes by the nickname Jewel, but Julia Budd is an absolute savage once she steps inside the Bellator cage. Budd is atop the Bellator Women’s Featherweight division and is running through everybody that stands opposite of her inside the cage. Riding an eleven fight win streak, Budd has now defended her championship belt three consecutive times and remains undefeated under the Bellator promotion. Budd’s 13-2 record surprisingly doesn’t even do her justice. The Jewel’s two losses have come at the hands of a couple of popular names, not just in women’s MMA, but in MMA in general. Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes are the only two fighters to defeat Julia, both of those losses coming from her Strikeforce days in 2011.

Bellator 224 saw Budd headline the main card against a very strong opponent, “Big Bad” Olga Rubin. Olga entered this contest 6-0 with three TKO victories and three decision victories. Olga earned her title shot by inflicting serious damage to her opponents en route to her last two decision wins, and many wondered if she could pressure Budd and inflict some of that same damage against the champion. But Julia had other plans. Budd and Rubin jockeyed for position in the middle of the cage, neither wanting to back up. Budd immediately went to throwing kicks, while Olga was trying to set up a power shot. Budd was able to land a solid front kick to Rubin’s diaphragm, causing her to cover her stomach and wince in pain immediately. Julia let no time pass as she swarmed the challenger backing her against the cage and landing punches before dropping Olga with a follow-up knee to the body. Jason Herzog promptly stepped in before Rubin took any more damage.

in the post-fight interview, Budd mentioned she would like to face ex-UFC fighter Leslie Smith after she made her Bellator debut on the Bellator 224 prelims. Budd went on to mention a cross-promotional fight with Rizin star Gabi Garcia, citing her husband fighting much larger men when he began fighting. As a fight fan, I don’t love the idea of Budd vs. Garcia, though I do love the cross-promotional championship fights. Smith is a good match-up for Budd, but I don’t think it is much of a challenge. Julia looks unstoppable at 145 lbs and seems only to be improving. DAZN did have an interview section between fights mentioning the Cris Cyborg to Bellator rumors, and Julia was excited about the opportunity to face a legend in Cyborg. Personally, that is the matchup to make. 

Julia Budd won’t get near the recognition she deserves as a dominant featherweight champion, but rest assured, Julia “The Jewel” Budd is one of the best fighters on planet Earth!

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