Cris Cyborg defends Bellator championship with submission victory over Arlene Blencowe

It was the identical previous Cyborg. It was a brand-new Cyborg.

Cris Cyborg placed on one other dominant efficiency in a profession filled with them, and added a brand new twist by scoring her first submission victory in 26 professional bouts, choking out Arlene Blencowe to efficiently defend her Bellator girls’s featherweight championship in the principle occasion of Bellator 249 on Thursday at Mohegan Solar Enviornment in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Cyborg battered her challenger in a one-sided spherical and a half, bloodying Blencowe within the stand-up combating earlier than taking her to canvas and locking in a rear-naked choke to get the tapout at 2:36 of Spherical 2.

“This can be a dream come true,” stated Cyborg (23-2, 1 NC). “I am actually comfortable, and excited for the subsequent one.”

Cyborg, who had scored knockouts in 18 of her earlier 22 victories, was making her first protection of the 145-pound championship she received from Julia Budd in January in her Bellator debut. That accomplished a sweep of all main featherweight titles in girls’s MMA, as Cyborg beforehand had reigned within the UFC, Invicta FC and the now-defunct Strikeforce.

A 35-year-old native of Brazil who lives and trains in Southern California, Cyborg has suffered only one defeat in 15 years, a TKO loss in 2018 to two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes, who’s No. 1 within the ESPN girls’s pound-for-pound rankings. Cyborg is ranked third.

Blencowe (13-8), a 37-year-old from Australia, is a former two-time world champion in professional boxing. However her boxing by no means was an element on this combat. Cyborg damage her within the first spherical with leg kicks and quick mixtures of punches, and when the champ bought the combat to the canvas simply two minutes in, she seized a dominant place and almost ended it then.

Blencowe survived to the bell, however she was broken items popping out for the second spherical. Cyborg swarmed her, took her again to the mat and completed her.

It was Blencowe’s second unsuccessful bid for the Bellator girls’s featherweight title. She misplaced a cut up determination to Budd in 2017.

Earlier within the night, the combat card misplaced its co-main occasion when Patricky Freire was pulled from his 159-pound catchweight bout with Jaleel Willis as a result of he fell unwell. Mike Mazzulli, director of athletic regulation for the Mohegan Tribe, stated Freire was faraway from the cardboard “due to an sickness unrelated to COVID or weight lower.”

Later, the fighter’s brother, Bellator males’s featherweight champ Patricio Freire, wrote on Instagram that he and Patricky’s trainers had known as off the combat, saying, “I caught him in his room a bit dizzy proper after we have been going to go away to the world.”

He stated his brother was seen by two fee docs, had been medicated and was feeling nicely “however devastated by the cancellation.”

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