Cris Cyborg makes her first Bellator title defense.
Cris Cyborg (22-2-0), the current Bellator Women's Featherweight Champion, will put her title on the line against Arlene Blencowe (13-7-0) during the main event Bellator 249 on Thursday, October 15 on the CBS Sports Network. This will be Cyborg’s first title defense after defeating Julia Budd by TKO at Bellator 238 back in January of this year.
Cyborg, regarded as one of the best women’s MMA fighters in the world, made the switch to Bellator in 2019 after spending several years in the UFC. Bellator gave Cyborg a multi-year contract, one the biggest deals ever given to women’s MMA fighter. This deal and her track record instantly propelled her to stardom.
Blencowe, Bellator’s first female Australian fighter, has been working her way up the featherweight ranks since 2014. Blencowe had a championship opportunity in 2016 in her fight against Budd for the featherweight title, but lost via split decision. Since that fight, Blencowe has rattled off three straight wins and earned another shot at the title.
“It’s been the longest camp in history for me,” Blencowe said in an interview with MMANews. “After she [Cyborg] fought Julia and, Scott [Coker] announced that you know, I was the number one contender, we started preparation straight away.”
Blencowe will have a tough task taking on Cyborg, as Cyborg has been utterly dominant in her professional career. Cyborg was one of the biggest stars for UFC, going 6-1 and holding the Featherweight championship before losing the belt to Amanda Nunes. Cyborg has also won multiple championships across different promotions, having also held the Featherweight championship for Strikeforce and Invicta FC. However, Blencowe’s preparation may be enough to tip the scales in her favor. Either way, this fight between two groups is going to be one for the ages.