Ex-world champion boxer Ana Julaton signs deal with Bellator

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist
Former boxing world champion Ana Julaton signed a deal to compete as a flyweight for Bellator. (Courtesy AnaJulaton.com)

Ana Julaton, a former world champion boxer who holds black belts in Kenpo karate and Taekwondo, has signed a multi-fight agreement to continue her MMA career with Bellator.

Julaton, 37, has held the IBA super bantamweight title and had two stints as the WBO super bantamweight champion during her nine-year boxing career. She competed for a spot on the UFC’s reality series, “The Ultimate Fighter,” earlier this year and when she wasn’t chosen, she opted to sign a deal with Bellator.

Julaton, who trains with ex-UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, is along with ex-UFC champion Holly Holm the most decorated female boxer to make the switch to MMA. Julaton is 2-2 in MMA, having fought in One Championship in 2014-15.

She trained heavily in grappling when she first began in MMA, because she knew her hands were good enough to compete. She worked with noted grappling trainer Ricky Lundell early in her MMA career and many of her fights in One reflected that training.

After leaving One, Julaton boxed again, going 1-0-1. Her contract with Bellator allows her the opportunity to box and she expects to compete in both sports.

She didn’t want to give up on MMA, particularly feeling as good as she has.

“I know I can’t do this forever,” she said. “But I’m 37 and I feel so great. I thought about it and I just felt I didn’t want to pass the opportunity when I was feeling so good. I’m in great shape and I feel so good and I just want to try this.”

She’ll compete as a flyweight, though Bellator has not announced her first bout with the promotion.

Bellator MMA flyweight Ana Julaton poses with her boxing title belts. (Courtesy AnaJulaton.com)