Kristina Williams takes on Juliana Velasquez at Bellator 224, Friday, June 12th. The main event, of which, features Olga Rubin challenging Julia Budd for the featherweight title. This isn’t the only bout on the card that has possible championship implications for the women of Bellator though.
In Williams battle with the undefeated Velasquez, she faces a strong judo practitioner Judo acumen and is a Team Nogueira product. The 125 lb feature is on the main card set to be broadcast on Paramount Network.
Number One Contendership Implications
Both women in this bout are in a favorable position in Bellator’s contenders’ queue. Velasquez is coming off a win over Alejandra Lara. While Williams has wins over Emily Ducote and Bruna Ellen in her last outing.
“I know this looks kind of like it’s supposed to be a number one contender fight but I don’t know what they’re going to do next with Veta Arteaga. I’m not sure who’s going to go next with the title”.
Williams appreciates Bellator’s efforts in building up the women’s flyweight division overall. She noticed the influx of new fighters and relishes the chance to test herself further in the cage. Velasquez has a spotless record and this gives Williams that extra push to secure the win.
“Coming against an unbeaten opponent gives you motivation to train harder. It definitely just motivates me and drives me harder.”
As much as Williams is gunning for the flyweight title, she has a bit of a relationship with the promotion’s flyweight champion. She sometimes spars rounds with the current Bellator flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. Although, Williams has a whole host of quality sparring partners.
“I’ve been training at Genesis MMA with Jinh Yu Frey… I have some really good training partners that I like”
‘Warhorse’ always focuses on the weaker areas of her game. She has shown dexterity in her strikes and an effective stand-up game overall but is always looking to grow her submission grappling attack.
The Bright Lights of Bellator
The entirety of Williams’ pro career has been with Bellator MMA. She immediately made an impact by beating the, highly touted 3-time boxing champion Heather Hardy in her professional debut. Williams is noticeably appreciative of what Bellator has done for her career growth and how valuable of a platform it is.
“It’s an amazing run. I have gotten some really good fights with them… We’ll see where we go”
After this first foray in Bellator, Williams has experienced several key moments relatively earlier in her career. She defeated Emily Ducote then lost a title eliminator to Valérie Létourneau.
Williams bounced back right away with a win over Ellen in her most recent bout. She is not entering unfamiliar territory and it will be intriguing to see if she can make any adjustments from losing her prior title eliminator.
As much as Williams thrives in these pressure situations, downtime is necessary. Kristina Williams is nicknamed ‘Warhorse’ and is an avid horse rider in her spare time. As well as riding, she teaches as well. She sees it as an essential, cathartic pastime.
“Riding my horses decompresses me. Definitely, it’s a lot of adrenaline and it just kind of takes your mind off everything when you’re able to get out there and ride….that’s definitely one of my escapes”.
The flyweight fight goes at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Williams’ bout appears on the Bellator 224 main card which kicks off at 9:00 PM ET on Paramount Network.