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Ana Julaton says nearly 2 years off before Bellator 185 has her new and improved

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – It’s possible fans checking out Bellator 185 tonight will be seeing Ana Julaton for the first time. For many, they may have never even heard of her.

But Julaton (2-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) hopes to change that in a big way when she makes her promotional debut at flyweight against Lisa Blaine (1-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). Bellator 185 takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card, including Julaton-Blaine to open up, airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Julaton, a Filipino-American born in San Francisco and now fighting out of Las Vegas, where her training partners include former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, hasn’t fought in nearly two years. And when she did fight in MMA, Julaton, who also is a pro boxer, did so only in Asia for her first four fights, all with ONE Championship.

But now that she’s with Bellator, and has had nearly two years to refine her game, she finally gets to fight in the United States – and wants to make a big first impression on a new fan base.

“It’s nice to actually be back home, and it’s a big deal – it’s nice to make my debut on the American stage,” Julaton told MMAjunkie on Wednesday. “I’ve fought all over the world for the past few years. For me, it’s been a personal dream of mine (to fight in the United States).”

Julaton said she worked on improving her overall game the past two years. Her boxing may have needed the least cleaning up, given she’s had 19 pro boxing matches and won world titles.

She broke down everything and nearly started from scratch, though, and now is convinced she’s going to show off a new and improved fighter.

“Me and my team have been working very, very hard for the past two years,” Julaton said. “I stayed low-key for a reason. There’s a reason why I only wanted to show my boxing on social media. We worked a lot, specifically on me developing my style. If anyone wants to know what’s going to happen, I expect to showcase phenomenal, phenomenal martial arts. First and foremost, for those who know me as a boxer, I am a martial artist.”

She also comes to Bellator with a near-instant rivalry with another MMA newbie from the boxing world, Heather Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who fights Kristina Williams (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) on tonight’s main card a couple fights after Julaton.

The two already have gone back and forth, so a win for each of them might just mean they’ll be matched up against each other in a hurry.

Check out the video above for more from Julaton ahead of her fight. Below, catch up on her budding rivalry with Hardy.

And for more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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