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Bellator 254: Juliana Velasquez defeats Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in headliner; Linton Vassell wins

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Juliana Velasquez (11-0) defeated Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-1) via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 48-47) to become the new Bellator MMA flyweight champion; Britain’s Linton Vassell impressive in his win over Ronny Markes at Bellator 254

Juliana Velasquez (11-0) defeated Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-1) via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 48-47)

Juliana Velasquez defeated Ilima-Lei Macfarlane to become the new Bellator MMA flyweight champion on Thursday.

Velasquez (11-0) forced the 125-pound champion Macfarlane to come to her before landing the bigger strikes throughout as she recorded a unanimous decision win (48-47, 49-46, 48-47) in the main event of Bellator 254 in Connecticut.

“I’m very excited to finally be the champion,” Velasquez said. “I want to thank my brother who I felt was here with me tonight. My goal is to not only be a champion with the way I perform but to be a champion outside of the ring.

“To me, this is like a gold medal. I wasn’t able to achieve a gold medal in judo. During the pandemic, I started getting a little depressed as to when I was going to fight. I started doubting myself but one of my good friends reassured me and gave me positive words. I thank him for the positivity.”

Juliana Velasquez (11-0) defeated Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-1) via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 48-47)

Macfarlane’s offense was largely limited to short bursts that the southpaw Velasquez picked off on her way to a famous win.

“You could say I coulda, woulda and shoulda but at the end of the day, she outperformed me. I didn’t find my groove until that takedown,” said Macfarlane. “I wasn’t trying to force anything and her game plan was spot on. At the end of the day, she won the championship and she deserves it. She is going to be an amazing champion and she deserves it.”

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Linton Vassell (20-8) defeated Ronny Markes (19-8) via TKO (strikes) at 3:37 of round two

Britain’s Linton Vassell has now won two on the bounce after unleashing a flurry of strikes that left his opponent Ronny Markes nowhere to go.

Also, there were wins for Magomed Magomedov and Romero Cotton on the main card.

Linton Vassell (20-8) defeated Ronny Markes (19-8) via TKO (strikes) at 3:37 of round two

Bellator 254: Macfarlane vs Velasquez Main Card

Juliana Velasquez (11-0) defeated Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-1) via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 48-47)
Magomed Magomedov (17-1) defeated Matheus Mattos (12-2-1) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Linton Vassell (20-8) defeated Ronny Markes (19-8) via TKO (strikes) at 3:37 of round two
Romero Cotton (5-0) defeated Justin Sumter (7-4) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:36 of round one

Billy Goff (3-2) defeated Robson Gracie Jr. (3-1) via TKO (strikes) at 1:46 of round two

Preliminary Card

Billy Goff (3-2) defeated Robson Gracie Jr. (3-1) via TKO (strikes) at 1:46 of round two
Cody Law (2-0) defeated Kenny Champion (2-1) via TKO (strikes) at 4:44 of round three
Grant Neal (5-0) defeated Maurice Jackson (7-3) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:59 of round two
Shamil Nikaev (10-0) defeated Kemran Lachinov (10-3) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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