Bellator women's featherweight champion Julia Budd is champing at the bit for Saturday's fight against former UFC champion Cris Cyborg.
"It's come at the right time," Budd told theScore. "F---, my first year of fighting, I (had to fight) Ronda Rousey, Amanda Nunes, Germaine de Randamie. I wasn't well-rounded, I didn't know what I was doing. But at the same time, it's extra exciting because now I'm so ready for this test (against Cyborg)."
Budd (13-2) most recently defeated Olga Rubin by first-round TKO at Bellator 224 in July. The 36-year-old will be seeking her fourth successful title defense when she faces Cyborg at Bellator 238.
Cyborg (21-2) also last competed in July, outpointing Canadian Felicia Spencer by decision at UFC 240. Prior to that victory, the 34-year-old suffered her first loss in nearly 13 years to Nunes at UFC 232. Though the two-division champion made quick work of Cyborg, Budd doesn't plan to fight the same way.
"I have my own style so I think it's going to be different than that fight," the Canadian explained. "(Nunes) definitely went out there and showed the world what's possible. That's her style and good for her.
"We've just been preparing for every situation and I think that's been a really key part of this training camp. I'm also going in there with full confidence of knowing who I am and what I bring to the table. I don't have a crystal ball but I'm ready for everything."
UFC Raleigh will be going head-to-head with Saturday's Bellator card, with former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos battling Curtis Blaydes in the main event. Budd believes the competition between cards only enriches the magnitude of her title fight.
"It just adds to the energy of it. Everyone that I care about is tuned to my fight. And I'm a headliner? This is a dream come true," said the British Columbia-based fighter. "I've got people coming up from the Sunshine Coast. If anyone didn't know me before, they're going to know me after Jan. 25."