Liz Carmouche is set to make her Bellator debut on Saturday against DeAnna Bennett and mentioned prior to parting ways with the UFC, the Las Vegas-based promotion wanted her to fight at featherweight.
“(Signing with Bellator) was actually something that I was trying to work out even before I got cut from the UFC,” Carmouche told MMANews. “I just felt like I wasn’t getting booked for fights. Like it was really difficult. So I discussed the possibility of moving to Bellator and at the time (the UFC) was like, ‘Well, you know, like 145-pounds makes sense’. I’m like ‘I walk around under 145, that couldn’t possibly do 145. They were like we can book you for a fight right away. So it wasn’t lining up. And it just happened chance that we were talking to few different organizations when I got cut and Bellator was like ‘Yeah actually 125 makes perfect sense. We can definitely fit you in there and we’d love to have you.'”
Carmouche (13-7) hasn’t competed since an August 2019 unanimous decision loss to UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. Prior to that setback, the 36-year-old boasted wins over flyweight contenders Lauren Murphy, Katlyn Chookagian, and Jennifer Maia. Initially slated to fight Mandy Bohn at Bellator 243 in May, Carmouche will now fight fellow newcomer Bennett.
“I’m really looking forward this, we both have almost equal amount of experience when it comes in terms of fighting.” Carmouche said. “If anything, she has a little bit more on me just because she does have that wrestling background from her whole life. So I think that’s going to be really good because I love having an opportunity to go against a good wrestler. I always test myself there. And then her striking isn’t orthodox, she switches stances. So that’s a lot of fun for me to, to challenge myself in a new way and to see everything that I have to offer and show off new things I’ve learned.”
Bennett (10-6-1) is coming off a submission loss to Miranda Maverick at Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 2 back in September 2019. The 35-year-old will look to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since March 2017.
The San Diego Combat Academy product Carmouche is expecting a competitive matchup when the pair of flyweights clash on Saturday night.
“Watching all the tape she adapts and she grows every single fight more and more,” Carmouche said. “So something I’m looking forward to, especially as a veteran with equal amount of fights. This is a good fight and a good opportunity for us to both showcase why we’re veterans why we do what we do.”
Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Undefeated Patchy Mix battles Juan Archuleta in the main event for the vacant bantamweight title.