Kielholtz (6-3 MMA, 6-3 BMMA) couldn’t get any closer to claiming the women’s flyweight belt from Velasquez (12-0 MMA, 7-0 BMMA) at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. give up a split decision, with scores of 48-47, 47-48 and 48-47.
With trauma all over her face and tears in her eyes, Kielholtz attended Bellator 262’s post-fight press conference. Obviously heartbreaking, she had a platform and opportunity to lash out at the judges. However, she didn’t, and instead took the high road.
“They always say don’t leave it in the hands of the referees,” Kielholtz told MMA Junkie and other reporters. “I don’t blame anyone. I just blame myself that I didn’t do more and I know I could have done more, so that just frustrates myself. The judges, they do their job and I’m not the champion in their eyes tonight, but I will definitely be the champion in the future.”
Kielholtz, a Bellator kickboxing champion, has only competed in her ninth MMA fight, but still manages to give the champion a run for her money. She thought she had “proved to everyone that I’m not just a boxer, I can be an MMA champion,” but she didn’t get Bellator 262’s nod. .
The results only spurred Kielholtz to move forward better, she said. She planned to return to training in her native Netherlands as soon as she was fit enough to train, and she was thinking of a second crack in the belt.
“It’s really disappointing, the feeling right now,” Kielholtz said. “It was a really close fight. I think I am the one who came to fight and cause war. Unfortunately, the judges saw it as just a side street for her. Deciding to split the loss, it was painful. At the moment, it’s disappointing for me personally, and I’m just going back to the Netherlands, working harder and I think maybe a rematch in Amsterdam. “
Kielholtz said she would be open to facing another contender like Ilima-Lei Macfarlane or Liz Carmouche if the promotion decided against an immediate rematch.
However, she thinks she has a good case for getting it back up and running right away. It was an entertaining and tactical affair for 25 minutes, and Kielholtz believes the sequel could be even better.
“I think so. I think the next fight will be more fun. Sure. Who knows? It all depends on Bellator.”
Watch Kielholtz’s full post-match press conference above.