Julia Budd Dominates Gabrielle Holloway At Bellator 133Featherweight standout Julia “The Jewel” Budd picked up her fifth straight win in her Bellator debut on Friday night at Bellator 133 in Fresno, California. Budd earned an extremely lopsided Unanimous Decision victory over short-notice replacement Gabrielle “Gabanator” Holloway on the main card.

Just as she did in each of her four fights for Invicta FC, Budd controlled the bout with Holloway on the mat and smothered her overmatched opponent. Holloway survived Budd’s bursts of ground and pound and made it to the final bell, but Budd walked away with an easy victory on the scorecards.


Budd (7-2-0) closed the distance and took Holloway (4-2-0) down into mount in the opening minute. Holloway gave up her back and Budd held her down until Holloway scrambled up against the fence. Budd scored two more takedowns, but Holloway turned into her guard and threw short shots from the top. Budd countered with elbows and an armbar before returning to her feet. She landed some nice knees and dragged Holloway back down, then finished the round with a hard right cross on the feet.

Round two was more of the same and Budd asserted her dominance in wrestling by taking Holloway down again. The crowd grew restless as Budd threw knees to Holloway’s thighs and pinned her against the cage. She repeatedly took Holloway down and peppered her with punches, elbows and more knees to the body. Holloway fought off a rear-naked choke attempt, but Budd landed knee after knee until the end of the one-sided middle stanza.

Holloway threw Budd to the mat early in round three, but Budd scrambled into an inverted triangle choke attempt and returned to her feet. She once again held Holloway against the base of the cage and punished her with elbows to the ribs. The crowd booed the lack of action until Holloway escaped from Budd’s grasp and stood up. Budd cracked her with an overhand right and scored another takedown into back control, where she stayed until the final bell.

While Budd never came close to finishing Holloway, she completely negated her offence and the judges were left with an easy decision. All three scored the fight in favour of Budd, who has won five in a row and made a successful return to action following a 14-month layoff.

Winner: Julia Budd by Unanimous Decision (30-24, 30-25, 30-26) after three rounds. She improves to 7-2-0.



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, AllElbows.com / InvictaFC.com)

  1. That fight was atrocious. Budd dominated a terrible opponent and still managed to look bad and get booed. Fans were destroying that fight on threads. In no universe should that have been on a main card. Bellator draws a very hardcore MMA/UFC fan. They are the ones always complaining about women in UFC. The last thing they want isnlow level wmma which 145 is outside of two fighters. Scott Coker has done some decent things with Bellator. But trying to relive the Strikeforce glory days of wmma is just silly. The talent is not there. Not once UFC embraced wmma and with Invicta around. Just stick to your gimmick fights and old UFC fighters.

    And leave 145 to Invicta with maybe UFC adding it in about 3 to 5 years.

  2. Couldn’t have said it better. Budd won decisively and dominated an overmatched opponent, but, somehow, managed to look TERRIBLE. She was mostly ineffective on top, and just kept throwing harmless knees to Holloway’s thigh. Hollow showed ZERO grappling and stand-up, and Budd made some basic mistakes throughout the entire fight.
    And, yet, she got reversed in round 1 and was taken down on round 3. None of the rounds were 10-8. If you are too gracious, round 2 was a 10-8, but she didn’t cause any harm to Gabrielle.
    And we know what she will try to do against Marloes: wall’n’stall her way to a win.

  3. Budd did not look good it’s true, but in all fairness, she had been off for 15 months and was probably under a lot of pressure in her first fight for Bellator. She got the win against a late replacement and I believe she’ll give Marloes all she can handle. WMMA is still young and especially the 145lb division is not mature and still looking to establish itself. Better days will come.

  4. Budd is likely stronger than Marloes. So, she shows she can push Marloes against the fence for three rounds.
    I don’t think she will take it to the ground, as Marloes is too dangerous off her back.

  5. She shows = she knows.
    There is no way Budd is finishing Marloes.

  6. What a disappointment. I was hoping to see Budd display her Muay Thai talents but all she did was smother her opponent. It may have won her the match but I think she lost a lot of potential fans in the process.

    Her and Coenen being the top two contenders at LW just shows what a pathetically weak and shallow weight division LW is in WMMA much less Bellator and should give Cyborg ample motivation to move down to 135. There’s virtually nothing for her at 145.

  7. The Unified women’s rankings have Marloes and Julia currently ranked #1 and #2 in the world. Cyborg will no doubt re-take the top spot with a win over Charmaine Tweet in about 10 days. I believe Cyborg fell out of the rankings due to inactivity, but it’s a bit odd because Budd had also gone over 1 year between fights yet was still ranked. I thought both Cyborg and Budd last fought at Invicta FC 7 on Dec 7th of 2013.

    Oh well, on an interesting side note – Jorina Baars, who defeated Cyborg in a Muay Thai match 11 months ago, is set to fight again this Friday. Man was Jorina impressive in beating Cyborg, albeit in a Muay Thai match and not MMA.

  8. You’re correct, Andy. Julia stayed on because she had at least two (I believe three) planned/confirmed fights scheduled between her final Invicta FC bout and eventual Bellator debut. Initial plans called for her to fight Marloes Coenen last year. Cyborg was removed because her December 2014 fight (which never happened) was supposed to be a bantamweight bout, so she had vacated the division.

  9. Thanks Robert. Yes I recall now that Budd had some fights fall through. That makes total sense now.

  10. Regarding Budd’s performance — I just read that she suffered a fracture in her right foot and is under medial suspension for 6 months: “Julia Budd: 180 days for fracture to right big toe/foot, must be cleared by doctor.”

    This puts her performance in a whole different light and goes a long way to explaining why she did not look as good as usual. Her win is actually very impressive under the circumstances.

  11. Andy, honestly, Budd has been fighting like that ever since she was k.o.ed by Amanda Nunes.
    She laid’n’prayed for three rounds against Germaine de Randamie, and had a very boring / dragged fight against Charmaine Tweet as well.

    Also, the broken foot wouldn’t prevent her from trying chokes, kimura or even punching Holloway from top position. Yet, we saw knees to the thigh (which she shouldn’t be attempting, because of her foot).

    We don’t know in which round she broke her foot as well…

    Budd has to prove herself as an exciting fighter. She looked very impressive in her debut against Shana Nelson, and went downhill from there…

  12. Wonder what Budd’s strategy against Cyborg would be… Cyborg is easily stronger than anyone else Budd has fought thus far, and has superior wrestling. She also got superior stand-up. She wouldn’t take Cyborg down easily, and wouldn’t be able to pin her against the fence.

  13. Budd’s strategy would be to run. That would be a mauling.

    @Andy, I don’t see any future for 145. Not until Invicta develops it for a few years and it will never be taken serioiusly until UFC adds it. The talent is not there. Anyone that can, moves to 135.