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4 burning questions heading into Bellator 224

The doors of the Bellator cage open for business once again Friday as the promotion returns to its happy hunting ground of Thackerville, Okla., for Bellator 224.

With a four-fight main card and a colossal 12-fight preliminary slate, there’s sure to be plenty of action under the lights at the WinStar World Casino.

Here are four burning questions heading into Bellator 224.

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Will Julia Budd cement her dominance at featherweight?

With this fight being her fifth appearance in Thackerville, champion Julia Budd could be forgiven for thinking she’s fighting at home, but you won’t be hearing any complaints from the Canadian. She’s at the top of the bill, she has a new contract, and the prospect of a crazy fight with Gabi Garcia seems to be developing into a real-life possibility.

But before she can even think about buying a Japanese phrase book and jumping on a plane to Saitama, Budd (12-2 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) has business to take care of in the form of a title defense against an undefeated challenger. Olga Rubin (6-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) has a hat-trick of wins to her name inside the Bellator cage. Budd can’t afford to take her eye off the ball, or all her hopes and dreams could be put on ice.

Budd says she’s been working on her striking, and she’ll be looking to not just win, but deliver a statement. Can she hand Rubin her first loss, or will the Israeli challenger spring a shock?

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Did you miss the debut of “UFC 252 Countdown” or just want to watch it again? Check out the main event preview now. The segment takes an in-depth look at the heavyweight championship main event, with the trilogy between Stipe Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) and Daniel Cormier (22-2...

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