EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Julia Budd working to get back to the title

Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

Any time a champion is dethroned, the only thing on their mind is getting back their belt and former Bellator MMA’s women’s featherweight champion is no different. Cris Cyborg came into Bellator at Bellator 238 in January of 2020 and took the title from Julia Budd by TKO, handing her the third loss of her professional career, which led to her mapping out her road back to a rematch with Cyborg in hopes of getting her championship title back.

Bellator 257: Julia Budd vs Dayana Silva

Budd would begin her journey back to a title fight opportunity at Bellator 244 last August when she had an impressive unanimous decision victory over Jessy Miele. This weekend at Bellator 257, Budd will meet Dayana Silva as the former champion is ranked as the No. 1 contender in the official Bellator rankings, and she knows an impressive performance can set her apart from the rest. During an interview with On The Mic podcast for MixedMartialArts, Budd discussed her fight against Silva, working to get back to the title, and much more.

Fighting Cris Cyborg: Lessons learned

Coming into her promotional debut with Bellator, Cyborg had plenty of fanfare from not just the UFC but throughout her entire career where she was labeled as unbeatable, that was until Amanda Nunes knocked her out in the first round of their UFC title fight. As she moved over to Bellator, Cyborg came in with yet again an aura of invincibility, and Budd says she used that to motivate her in the fight, even though things didn’t go her way.

“You know I think it did feel like that a little bit, but it motivated me, I just used it as extra motivation. Because I feel like if you focus too much on that then it can throw you off and take away your energy. I used it as energy and I prepared, everything went well for that fight, there are no excuses on my part but I learned a lot from it. So yeah, I just used it as energy and motivation.

New competition: Could Cat Zingano steal title shot

Julia Budd understands that while just a week ago Cat Zingano drew the attention of the women in the featherweight division, the former champion has her own opportunity to make a statement and she plans to do just that to get herself back into a title fight.

“I’m looking to have my best performance yet, I’m looking to make a statement, and let everyone know that I deserve the title shot again. I fully respect my opponent, I prepared, this has been an amazing training camp, and I’m super prepared for her but I’ve got a job to do and I’m excited to get in there again.”

Focused on gold: Proving it every fight

Julia Budd
Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

After suffering her title loss, Budd said she took a lot of learning experiences from it, and it made her more focused than ever to get back to the title she used to hold.

“It was hard I was totally prepared to win that fight so it was difficult dealing with that, but then the whole world kinda ended after that and it kinda put things in perspective of ‘okay I can fix these things’. The whole way the world was going it put it in perspective that it wasn’t the biggest, worst thing that could’ve happened last year. It was kind of a roller coaster ride but I was able to get back in the cage and get a win in one of Bellator’s first cards back in 2020. It was a really good learning experience at the end of the day I can look at that, but again, I hate to lose and I want to get back in there and I want to showcase how good I am in this next fight that I have and the goal is always the top.”

As for her desire to get the rematch with Cris Cyborg and win her belt back, Julia Budd makes it clear, that is her only focus for 2021.

“Yes, 100%”

Tune in this Friday when Julia Budd meets Dayana Silva on the main card of Bellator 257, exclusively on SHOWTIME.

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