Seconds after the women’s Flyweight title fight between Juliana Velasquez and Liz Carmouche concluded last night (Fri., April 22, 2022) at Bellator 278 was stopped in the fourth round by referee Mike Beltran, protests and criticism ensued.
Beltran called an end to the fight in the closing seconds of the fourth round after Velasquez — who was stuck in the crucifix position — ate several short elbows from Carmouche. From most people’s standpoint, the elbows weren’t causing much (if any) damage, and Velasquez seemed fine. That was more than apparent as soon as the fighters were separated because the now-former champion protested the stoppage in confusion, and her face showed zero damage.
Soon thereafter, Featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull hopped on his Twitter account to criticize Beltran for what says was a botched call, reminding everyone that he thought he stopped his first fight against A.J. McKee early, as well.
“Mike Beltran should never be allowed to referee a fight again,” vented the 145-pound champion. “First he took away my title and now he takes away Juliana’s title. He should be held accountable!”
Indeed, Pitbull protested the stoppage at Bellator 263 after Beltran stepped in and declared McKee the winner seconds after locking in a standing guillotine. While it seemed as if Pitbull was out for a second, the champ was adamant he was fine. Furthermore, Beltran stepped in as soon as he saw McKee say “He’s out.” Nevertheless, the Brazilian bomber was able to get revenge and win his title back recently at Bellator 277.
As for Velasquez’s beef with Beltran, the damage has been done and she will now have to sit back and see if Bellator MMA matchmakers grant her an immediate rematch following the controversial loss to Carmouche.
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