After coming from the UFC, Cyborg got an immediate title shot and earned a fourth-round TKO over to Julia Budd to win the belt. She followed that up with a submission win over Arlene Blencowe to defend her belt for the first time. It was also her first career submission victory, which showed off her well-rounded game.
Now, at Bellator 259, Cyborg is set for her second title defense against Smith. The two fought at UFC 198 at a 140-pound catchweight and Cyborg earned a first-round TKO. Ahead of the rematch, Cyborg is preparing for five rounds but is expecting a very violent fight.
“I feel like, in my mind, now I have five rounds to finish the fight,” Cyborg explained to MMAFighting. “I know it’s my division, but the last time, I was cutting all that [extra] weight, but this time, I know I can handle it for all the rounds. So it’s a different mindset for the fight. I know I have five rounds this time. If I finish it faster this time, then great. But I’m ready for all five rounds.
“And Leslie Smith, she’s a very, very tough girl, and people who watch her know that,” Cyborg added. “Everyone knows I have the heart of a warrior, too. So there’s gonna be a lot of violence, so you guys should get excited to watch this fight.”
Prior to signing with Bellator, Cyborg returned to the win column with a decision win over Felicia Spencer at UFC 240. She was knocked out in just 51 seconds to Amanda Nunes to lose her featherweight title.
Who do you think will win in the main event of Bellator 259, Cris Cyborg or Leslie Smith?