Julia Budd became Bellator Featherweight Champion this year way back in March, but hasn't defended her championship -- and won't -- until December.
While the division worked itself out, Budd thought she had an opponent lined up in Talita Nogueira. However, according to Budd, Nogueira turned down the fight, which is why Bellator went with a re-match against Arlene Blencrowe. Despite having beaten Blencrowe before, Budd told Fightful.com's James Lynch she believes her Bellator 189 title challenger deserves the shot.
"She's a hard worker and our division is interesting. I would say she's the hardest worker in the division. Three wins this year, and she definitely deserves it. They offered it to Talita (Noguiera) and she said that her knee was bothering her. She turned it down. I had a feeling it was going to be (one of the two)," said Budd.
It's worth noting that Noguiera withdrew from a planned February 2015 fight with Budd due to injury, and had a November 2016 fight canceled when she failed to make weight. Since signing with Bellator in August 2014, Talita has competed only once.
As far as challengers in Bellator and outside the company, Budd reiterated that she's full steam ahead on Bellator 189 before anything else.
"I'm just so fully focused on this fight. I've got enough pressure on this fight alone, I don't want to look past it. I'm sure there are a couple of women in my division looking to fight the winner of this fight. (Cyborg) is an amazing fighter in our division. I feel like she's number 1 and I'm number 2," said Cyborg.
In the full interview Julia Budd (10-2) discusses her upcoming title defense against Arlene Blencowe (10-6) at Bellator 189 on Dec. 1. Julia also explains why she hasn't fought since March, her training camp for this matchup and Seattle Seahawks football.