It may have been one of the least entertaining fights in recent Bellator history, and the decision still has some scratching their heads. In fact, some may even compare this fight to the infamous first encounter between Melvin Manhoef and Rafael Carvalho.
But in the end, Julia Budd has retained the Bellator Women’s Featherweight Championship, defeating Arlene Blencowe via split decision.
Budd and Blencowe clinched up about a minute in, with Budd putting Blencowe against the cage. Budd landed a couple of knees and attempted a takedown. The two travel along the fence, but Blencowe’s back remained against the cage. Blencowe finally turned things around and put Budd’s back against the cage with less than 30 seconds to go. Budd lands a nice elbow before the bell.
Exchanges in the center of the cage took place in the first minute of the second round, with Blencowe seemingly getting the better of the exchanges. The action stalled for about a minute, both fighters acting tentatively. The fight’s pace slowed, though Blencowe still landing some notable shots. Budd got the takedown with about 10 seconds left in the round.
In a mostly quiet third round, and while both landed their fair share, it was Blencowe who spent more time putting the pressure on the champion. With about a minute left, Budd locked in a Muay Thai clinch and landed a couple of strong knees to the head. But it did not appear to be enough for her, as Blencowe stuffed two more takedown attempts and landed a knee.
At 30 seconds into the fourth, Budd got Blencowe against the fence and threw knees, but Blencowe got out of her grasps in about a minute. The two do some exchanging, but not much happened, and similar statements can be made for the fifth, where Budd got a takedown stuffed and circled on the outside, backpedaling for most of the round. Budd got in one last clinch with knees before the final bell.
While one judge scored the bout in Blencowe’s favor 48-47, Budd took the other two scorecards 49-46 to retain.
Bellator 189 Results:
Julia Budd def. Arlene Blencowe via split decision (49-46, 47-48, 49-46)
Rafael Lovato Jr. def. Chris Honeycutt via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Chidi Njokuani def. Hisaki Kato via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
David Rickels def. Adam Piccolotti via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)