Bellator flyweight Liz Carmouche is considered to be one of the most important fighters in MMA history after her inaugural UFC bantamweight title fight against Ronda Rousey back at UFC 157 just over eight years ago.

At age 37, Carmouche is still widely regarded as one of the top fighters in Bellator ahead of her pivotal matchup against top flyweight contender Kana Watanabe at Bellator 261. She made the move from the UFC to Bellator with mean intentions and has won her first two fights against both Vanessa Porto and DeAnna Bennett.

Carmouche sat down with LowKickMMA to reflect on her career and preview her big fight on June 25th. She’s in a rare position of still being able to compete for major titles at the latter stage of her career and plans to take advantage of every opportunity she gets.

“I’m really grateful,” Carmouche said. “I know fighters who have fallen off later on in their careers and I’m still trying to grow in the game. It keeps me on my toes and it’s really exciting at this stage in my life.”

Carmouche faces a streaking Watanabe who has emerged as one of the hottest prospects in women’s MMA after successful stops at RIZIN and DEEP JEWELS promotions in Japan. The winner of the upcoming title fight between flyweight champion Juliana Velasquez and top contender Denise Kielholtz at Bellator 262 is more than likely to face either Carmouche or Watanabe for the next title defense.

“She’s a game opponent who I’m really looking forward to challenging myself against,” Carmouche said. “No word yet from Bellator as to whether or not this will be for a top contender spot, but I’m hoping to put on a great show and be the most logical option to fight for the belt.”

Carmouche has the opportunity to cement herself as one of the best female fighters in the world once again with a win over Watanabe. While her legacy in the sport of MMA is cemented in greatness, she has the opportunity to do what very few have; earn a championship near the tail end of her fight career.

What comes to mind when you think of Liz Carmouche’s fight career?