Cris Cyborg’s Bellator MMA debut will, in fact, be for a title. ESPN has confirmed an initial report by The Los Angeles Times, revealing Cyborg will be facing Bellator’s women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd from The Forum in Inglewood, California on January 25.
Bellator has not yet officially announced the matchup, but an announcement is expected to be made tonight (Sat. September 28, 2019) during the Bellator 228 card. Cyborg is considered to be one of the most dominant fighters in women’s MMA history. She has lost just once since her unsuccessful MMA debut back in 2005. That was a knockout loss to current UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 239 earlier this year.
Cyborg’s contract with the UFC expired after her UFC 240 victory over Felicia Spencer. Following the bout, UFC president Dana White confirmed that the Las Vegas-based promotion would not be resigning Cyborg, following a public falling out with White, and she was free to sign with whichever promotion she liked. This landed her in the hands of Scott Coker, her former employer during her days with Strikeforce.
Now, she’ll take on Budd, currently on an 11-fight win streak and clearly Bellator’s most dominant female fighter to date. Budd has finished three of her last four fights and has two career losses to Ronda Rousey and Nunes.
Do you think Cyborg will emerge victorious in her Bellator MMA debut?