The first even of a two-night doubleheader for Bellator in Honolulu has its headliner.

Women’s flyweight champion Juliana Velasquez (12-0 MMA, 7-0 BMMA) will look to keep her undefeated record intact and defend her title when she takes on former UFC title challenger Liz Carmouche (16-7 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) in the five-round main event of Bellator 278.

The event takes place April 22 in front of a crowd of military veterans, frontline workers, and first responders at Neal S. Blaisdell Arena, the same venue that hosts Bellator 279 the following day.

Two people with knowledge of the matchup recently confirmed the booking to MMA Junkie but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an announcement.

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Velasquez, 35, won the promotion’s 125-pound title in December 2020 when she defeated long-reigning champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane by unanimous decision. She defended her title for the first time at Bellator 262 last July when she defeated Denise Kielholtz by split decision.

Carmouche, 38, served three tours as a marine in the Middle East prior to her fighting career. Following the conclusion of her UFC tenure in 2019, she signed with Bellator. She enters her first Bellator title challenge with three straight wins in the promotion, including a recent 35-second TKO of Kana Watanabe.

With the addition, the Bellator 278 lineup includes:

Champion Juliana Velasquez vs. Liz Carmouche – for women’s flyweight title
Enrique Barzola vs. Josh Hill
Cee Jay Hamilton vs. Jared Scoggins

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