As far as her 2021 goes, there’s not much for flyweight Liz Carmouche to be disappointed about.
In two bouts last year, Carmouche was able to pick up back-to-back victories and secure a shot at the Bellator flyweight title.
“I think last year played out great,” Carmouche told MMAWeekly.com. “I had the opportunity to showcase different parts of my game and do so in a very dominant way.
“I was fortunate enough that gave me a phone call to fight (Kana) Watanabe (at Bellator 261 last June), and it really helped make (this upcoming) fight possible.”
Having been in the fight game now for over a decade, Carmouche doesn’t lack for motivation or drive to continue to develop her game, as evidenced by her continued growth.
“In part things do kind of develop naturally with certain aspects of it, but I also have my MMA coach that will see things that I need to work on or things I need to learn that he wants to add in addition to everything I’m learning,” said Carmouche.
“I am developing naturally, but I’m fortunate enough to have a coach that is constantly growing and adding things on, and wants us to seek out different martial arts to put into our game. Our constant thing is evolution, and because of that I’m constantly learning new things and bringing new things into the game.”
On April 22 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Carmouche (16-7) will challenge Juliana Velasquez (12-0) for the 125-pound championship in the main event of Bellator 278.
“I’ve been studying Juliana since she was set to fight Illima (Macfarlane), and have been mimicking her fight style, seeing the weaknesses in her game,” Carmouche said. “I learned a lot from the Illima fight, and then again from Denise (Kielholtz’s), and I just feel like that every place that she has a weakness I have a strength. And the areas that she’s strong I’m better at.
“I’m really excited about this match-up. You’re going to see nothing but my success in that fight.”
Though 2022 could end up being her most successful year yet, Carmouche will take one things at a time with optimism to what could come next.
“In part it is one fight at a time,” said Carmouche. “I never want to look ahead or overstep where I am focusing on, but I also have to look ahead and plan for what could be next.
“What’d really like to see 2022 turn into is at least one or two more fights; getting this belt and then having a title fight against someone else and keeping it.”