Kristina “Warhorse” Williams is looking to keep her perfect record within the confines of Thackerville’s WinStar World Casino alive when she meets undefeated Juliana Velasquez for a flyweight bout on July 12.
Williams has previously won both of her previous contests at the venue. She opened her professional career with a second-round technical knockout against then-undefeated Heather Hardy in October 2017. Her second victory was an unanimous decision against Bruna Ellen — her most recent fight — in November last year.
Williams, fighting out of Edmond, was homeschooled in the city while her family spent time attending horse shows. Coincidentally, that’s also where Warhorse was dubbed with her fighting moniker.
Velasquez comes into next Friday’s bout a perfect 8-0. The outcomes of her fights are balanced, too, with four of her fights being stopped herself (three knockouts, one submission) and four decisions. Three of the decisions were unanimous.
Williams is of a new breed, though, something Velasquez has yet to see in her professional career: A fighter measuring over 5’ 7”. Only twice has Velasquez met fighters bigger than her 5’ 6” frame. One of those ended early with a first-round knockout to Elaine Albuquerque. But, fighting the bigger Alejandra Lara in her most recent fight, Velasquez suffered her first, non-unanimous win in a full-time split decision victory.
Edmond’s Williams is bigger — and longer — than either of those two previous opponents.
Williams has three wins in four bouts throughout her young professional career. Her TKO against Hardy and unanimous decision against Ellen bookend the two fights in the middle of her career. There, she took a split decision win over Emily Ducote in her second professional fight before dropping for the first and only time to Canada’s Valerie Letourneau in June last year.
While Williams might be new to Velasquez, the undefeated opponent aspect of next week’s fight isn’t something unfamiliar to Warhorse. She opened her career with a victory over then-undefeated Hardy. And, Williams said, she’s going to use that same mental approach from her underdog career-opening bout.
“I was really an underdog in my first fight, too,” Williams said this week. “I don’t worry too much about whether my opponent has lost or not.”
Williams is the third of four children in her family. Growing up homeschooled while attending horse shows saw her become close with her family, and that family connection with her brother was ultimately what ended up with Williams starting her professional fighting career.
Williams said she got into fighting first with Tae Kwon Do when she was around 15 years old. There she earned her black belt in the discipline before her brother Joshua pushed her even farther.
“He got me in the gym and I just fell in love with it,” Williams said.
Williams, who fights out of Gym America Elite, hopes the family support network and relatively-close venue of WinStar will lead to her feeling a home-field advantage against the Brazilian fighter.
“I’ll definitely have more people there,” Williams said. “It could be a little more pressure but that will even itself out though because I have that support system present.”
Williams’ and Velasquez’s bout will come as the 12th of 13 undercard fights on Friday, July 12, before Julia Budd and Olga Rubin will contest in the card’s main event. The first undercard — Nainoa Dung against Brad Robison — begins at 5:45 p.m.