Chris Cyborg Defends her title at Bellator 259

by Paul Miller

Chris Cyborg(23-2) will put her Bellator Women’s Featherweight belt on the line for the second time this Friday May 21st at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut in a rematch of what was a 2016 80 second destruction of Leslie Smith(12-8) in Cyborg’s UFC debut.

Since that contest, Cyborg has gone 7-1 with 5 Kos, 2 decisions, and 1 loss against GOAT Amanda Nunes. While Smith has gone a respectable 4-1 with 1 KO victory and the rest decision wins, while losing once by decision at Bellator 233.

Smith insists this time around will be different. She said focusing on making that catch weight of 140lbs in their first matchup took her focus away from the fight, along with fighting in front of over 40,000 fans in that fight which was a distraction.

This will be Smith’s 4th fight at Bellator and an upset win here would finally put her in the conversation of one of the top female fighters in the world. She last made the walk to the cage last September 11 in a decision victory against a 7-7 Amanda Bell. While Cyborg will be making her third walk to the Bellator cage, and first since submitting Arlene Blencowe(13-8) in the 2nd round last October 15. Smith lost to Blencowe by decision in November 2019.

This fight surely looks one sided on paper, but Leslie Smith gets an opportunity to change her life and make everyone look foolish when she gets her rematch Friday night against one of the most feared MMA fighters of all time. It is an opportunity most would shy away from, but give Smith all the credit in the world, she can’t wait for it.

Cyborg has fought on the biggest stages in MMA, and this next fight comes 16 years and 4 days after her professional debut. It does not matter what division or what sex an mma fighter is, that is a long career. She will turn 36 in July, so lets hope Scott Coker and Bellator can find her a few more game opponents to pair her up with before she retires. Love her or hate Cyborg, she has been a pioneer in Women’s MMA.