When it comes to her fourth-round TKO stoppage of Marloes Coenen at Bellator 174 in March, featherweight Julia Budd feels like it couldn’t have gone much better.
Not only was Budd able to stop one of female MMA’s all-time greats, but she was able to capture her first MMA championship after coming to the sport following a highly successful Muay Thai career.
“I felt like it was a great performance,” Budd told MMAWeekly.com. “I felt like it was amazing. It was a dream come true to wear that belt. Everything just kind of came into play and it was perfect.”
For Budd, winning a title was an overwhelming feeling, but soon thereafter she realized that the hardest part of her career had just begun.
“It hit me in the cage what I did (in winning the title),” said Budd. “That night when my parents came into the cage and I had the belt around my waist and all my teammates were there, it hit me right there.
“I felt that I was just getting started. I felt this is where I need to be, and now I have to get better and better, and show why I am the champion.”
Budd (10-2) will look to defend her championship for the first time when she rematches Arlene Blencowe (10-6) in the featherweight main event title fight of Bellator 189 on Friday in Thackerville, Okla.
“I think it’s going to be a completely new fight,” Budd said. “Before that fight, I was coming off a really bad back injury. I was kind of feeling it out a little too long in that fight, because I was unsure where I was at physically.
“I feel so much better, so I can push so much harder. Saying that, I know I have my hands full Friday night. She wants what I have, and I want to prove to the world why I deserve to be champion.”
Having achieved her goal of becoming an MMA champion, Budd can now move on to building her legacy in this sport, but only after taking care of business against Blencowe at Bellator 189.
“Honestly, I can’t look ahead to next year,” said Budd. “All I can see is Friday night and what I’ve got to accomplish there. That’s all I’m kind of looking at.”