For Liz Carmouche, looking towards the future is not something she wants to do right now.
Carmouche, the reigning Bellator female flyweight champion, defends her title Friday night at Bellator 294 vs. DeAnna Bennett. The event takes place from Neil Blaisdell Arena in Hawaii and airs live on Showtime.
For Carmouche, this will be her second title defense. She won the belt last year vs. Juliana Velasquez and defended it vs. Velasquez this past December.
“This camp was similar to my rematch with Velasquez,” she said. “It’s a lot, in the sense that taking so many days to do the cross-country drive takes time away from my wife and my son, but it paid off in the Velasquez fight and I think it will pay off in this one.
“I’ve entrusted all the success and my wins in Bellator to my working with my coach full-time, so I don’t want to sacrifice that.”
Overall, Carmouche is 18-7 and on a five-fight win streak. Her only loss since 2017 came to Valentina Shevchenko for the UFC flyweight title.
The start of the win streak came with a third round submission over Bennett at Bellator 246 in 2020.
“I think her best representation of herself is when she faced me the first time, and she didn’t get the job done,” she said. “In her mind, I think if she can come out fast, she can get the finish, but I don’t think she can go five rounds. I can go ten rounds. I’m ready for wherever the fight goes.”
As far as what is next, some have mentioned a bout with Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, a Hawaii native and former champion.
“I think everyone focuses on benchmarks for their career,” Carmouche said. “You should, you have to have goals. She has hers, and I have mine. While we’re focused on the end goals, we have to focus on the short-term goals. Friday night happens before Saturday, and Saturday has to happen before anything else. I anticipate that’s what’s going to happen. We’ve always talked about it. At some point, it’s gonna be you and me.
“We were always like, ‘If it’s you and me, we’re going to throw down even harder.’ We’re always there for each other. When we would train together, we were the two who gave each other the most problems. I think we’ll still be able to be friendly and put on a great fight.
“There have been moments where my friends’ kids will be like ‘Did you know you’re in the ‘culture’ section of a textbook?’ There are moments where I step back. My wife was explaining why I train as many hours as I do, and my son was like, ‘When are you gonna get a real job?’ My real job? My job provided everything we have. I was explaining to him my career, and I was like ‘Holy crap, I’ve actually done a lot.’ My nickname is Girlrilla, but it really should be History Maker. Whenever someone’s needed to step up, it’s been me. I don’t mind taking the heat.”
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