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Bellator champ Julia Budd interested in Rizin FF fight with 'double my size' Gabi Garcia

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Julia Budd is dialed in on Friday’s Bellator 224 title defense against Olga Rubin, but the featherweight champion sees some big fights on the horizon after signing a new four-fight deal with the promotion.

The “big” can be emphasized for one fight in particular. Budd (12-2 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) said her champion status paired with Bellator’s strong relationship with the Japan-based Rizin FF organization could open the door for a showdown with undefeated heavyweight Gabi Garcia (6-0).

Thus far Garcia, who is also a renowned grappling specialist, has faced no equal in MMA. She’s finished every opponent and allowed just one beyond the four-minute mark. None of those foes have accomplished a fraction of what Budd has in the sport, though, and she said she’s like to test herself against the Brazilian.

“Definitely (I’d like that fight),” Budd told MMA Junkie. “Lance Gibson (who is) my trainer, coach, husband; when he first started he was fighting guys that were over 100 pounds bigger than him back in the day. Those fights always kind of were exciting to me. It’s like, ‘OK, I want to see how my martial arts skills fair against someone that’s double my size.’ I think that would be really exciting.”

Although every fight is important, Budd’s next one seems to hold additional meaning. Budd has been relegated to defending against largely unknowns through her title reign, but more attractive matchups appear to be just around the corner.

Garcia is the “fantasy” fight, Budd said, but she also sees the likes of Leslie Smith (10-7-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) – who also competes at Bellator 224 – and Cris Cyborg (20-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) coming into play, as well.

“Leslie definitely is exciting,” Budd said. “They were saying Cyborg’s going to be a free agent after (UFC 240 on) July 27. That would be amazing for me. As for some of the other girls, the thing is they got to put together a winning streak.

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