Flyweight Liz Carmouche scored a fierce, fast 35-second knockout, and could now be thrust into a Bellator MMA title shot

Liz Carmouche won in style at the Bellator 261 event.
Liz Carmouche. Photo by Lucas Noonan / BELLATOR MMA
  • Liz Carmouche threw a seemingly neverending supply of fists at her opponent’s face.
  • The flyweight fight ended after 35 seconds as the ref thought Kana Watanabe had had enough.
  • Watch the entirety of the fight right here.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Liz Carmouche, an MMA flyweight nicknamed “Girl-rilla,” could be thrust into a Bellator title shot after she won via an impressive 35-second knockout Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

“I wanted that finish,” Carmouche said in a statement sent to Insider, after her win over Kana Watanabe.

Carmouche has been fighting for a decade, tallying wins over a young Valentina Shevchenko, Lauren Murphy, and Katlyn Chookagian.

In 2019 she left the UFC and joined Bellator MMA, scoring back-to-back victories ahead of her co-main event date against Watanabe on June 25.

Having fought for a championship on three separate occasions – once in Strikeforce, and twice in the UFC – Carmouche is determined to get a fourth shot, this time in Bellator.

That burning motivation showed against Watanabe. Carmouche forced the referee to step in and stop the fight in the opening round, after she threw a seemingly neverending supply of punches at her opponent’s face.

Watch it go down here:

-BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) June 27, 2021

“I want that belt,” Carmouche said. “I knew tonight I had to have a strong finish to show that I mean it. I also wanted her to make sure she looks back at that fight on her record, and remembers me with the strong finish.

“I’m feeling good. I did everything that I wanted to. I said I’d finish her in the first round by 3:23 and I did it faster than expected.”

According to MMA Junkie, Bellator boss Scott Coker said Carmouche has likely earned that title shot she so desperately covets.

“I feel like she’s definitely earned it. I thought that was a spectacular knockout,” he said.

“Watanabe is no joke. If she had a little bit of time and got Liz to the ground, it’d be a very interesting battle. But [Carmouche] did what she had to do.

“I thought it was spectacular. To me, she should be in that spot. But I want to wait to see what the rankings come in at and then we’ll decide what to do from there.”

With victory, Carmouche advanced her pro MMA record to 16 wins (seven knockouts, three submissions, and six decisions) against seven losses.