Canadian Julia (The Jewel) Budd successfully defended her Bellator featherweight title for a third time Friday night, stopping Israeli (Big Bad) Olga Rubin in the first round.
Budd (13-2-0) scored with leg kicks early and hurt Rubin with a kick to the body. Rubin grabbed her abdomen with her left hand and started backing up. Budd rushed forward, throwing punches and dropped Rubin (6-1-0) with a knee to the body at the fence before referee Jason Herzog stepped in at two minutes 14 seconds.
“I knew it was close to being over so I just kept attacking,” said Budd.
Budd extended her win streak to 11 fights. The 36-year-old from Port Moody, B.C., has not lost in more than seven years.
With the win, Budd tied flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane of Hawaii for most consecutive successful title defences in Bellator. Fellow Canadian Rory (Red King) MacDonald has also defended his welterweight title twice.
Rubin, a 29-year-old southpaw, did not make her pro debut until November 2016 but had won all six of her previous fights including three in Bellator.
The 145-pound title bout headlined the Bellator 224 card at the WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla. It marked Budd’s fourth straight bout there and the fifth in her last six fights.
The Canadian won the inaugural Bellator featherweight title in March 2017, stopping Marloes Coenen in the second round at Bellator 174. She has since defended her championship against Australian Arlene Blencowe via split decision at Bellator 189 in December 2017 and Nogueira via third-round stoppage at Bellator 202 last July.
Budd’s lone losses came in 2011 to (Rowdy) Ronda Rousey and Amanda (Lioness) Nunes, both in the Strikeforce promotion. Rousey, a former UFC champion, has retired while Nunes currently holds both the UFC bantamweight and featherweight titles.
Canadian featherweight Gabriel Varga stopped American Jamese Taylor by TKO at 3:23 of the second round on the undercard in a matchup of fighters making their pro MMA debut.
The 24-year-old Varga, a native of Toronto fighting out of Victoria, is a former kickboxing world champion with a 17-6-0 record.