Julia Budd Going After Her ‘Ultimate Goal’ at Bellator 174

February 27, 2017

For featherweight Julia Budd, 2016 was a year of frustration. Though she was able to pick up a win in her lone fight in December, it was a canceled bout in May that really disappointed her.

Originally scheduled to face Marloes Coenen to crown the first ever Bellator female 145-pound championship, Budd was forced to pull out of the fight due to back injury.

“Pulling out of the title fight was heartbreaking for me,” Budd told MMAWeekly.com. “It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to come to. I was trying to force it and see if I could do anything to make sure I could fight that night, so to pull out was brutal.

“Doing the proper rehab and getting my back healthy to be able to fight was a huge obstacle to overcome for me.”

While missing out on her fight with Coenen was definitely disappointing, for Budd it helped her come to the realization that she needed to do more to ensure she remained healthy leading up to bouts.

“I was not getting the proper care that I needed; not going to the chiropractor, not getting massage, not taking the time to make sure I was able to do what I wanted to do,” said Budd. “I learned my lesson. Now I go religiously. It’s part of my weekly training, getting treatment done, and I’ve never felt stronger or better.”

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Budd (9-2) will finally get her opportunity to face Coenen (23-7) for the featherweight championship in the Bellator 174 main event on Friday in Thackerville, Okla.

Julia Budd Invicta FC“I feel like it will be a totally different fight (from last year),” Budd said. “To finally face (Coenen) knowing I’m 100-percent ready and good to go, those are all huge factors in my confidence. I definitely feel like it’s going to be a different fight for sure.

“I think that I definitely have strength in my striking and my wrestling. I want to just push the pace. This whole training camp has been about going out of my comfort zones and being able to capitalize. I feel I’m ready to go anywhere.”

Having held titles in other combat sports, to have an opportunity to pick up her first championship in MMA is definitely a motivator for Budd.

“The fight’s a fight, and to have a title wrapped around your waist at the end is like a bonus after already achieving the main goal – which is making sure you win,” she said. “It’s definitely been my ultimate goal from day one, so it makes me more motivated and excited for sure.”

Taking a title is only the first step for Budd in 2017, as she looks to remain active and have her best year in MMA yet.

“I’m definitely not looking past March 3,” said Budd. “I want to win in the most dominating way possible, have no injuries, and get right back in there and defend the title. I would love to fight two more times after this.”

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