Former UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg was introduced as the newest fighter on Bellator’s roster during Saturday night’s Bellator 226 event. The promotion also confirmed that Cyborg will be fighting Bellator women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd in her organizational debut.
Bellator commentator “Big” John McCarthy revealed the promotion’s plans during an in-cage interview with Cris Cyborg, who signed with the Scott Coker-led organization this week after being cut last month by the UFC.
We are thrilled to welcome @criscyborg and the #CyborgNation to the Bellator family.
Hear what she has to say tonight at #Bellator226 about joining our women's featherweight division! pic.twitter.com/jDquxXrO1C
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) September 8, 2019
It was always expected that Cyborg would fight Budd in her Bellator debut, and now it’s official. A date or location for the bout has yet to be revealed, but the fight is likely to take place before 2019 is up.
Cris Cyborg (21-2, 1 NC) was recently released by the UFC after getting into a contract dispute following a decision win over Felicia Spencer at UFC 240. Cyborg was a free agent and the UFC wanted her to rematch Amanda Nunes, but for whatever reason they couldn’t get a deal done. UFC president Dana White was frustrated with the contract negotiations and decided to just cut Cyborg despite her being undoubtedly one of the most dominant female fighters in the sport. Her loss to Nunes in December 2018 was her first loss in over 13 years since losing her MMA debut in 2005.
Budd (13-2) is the Bellator women’s featherweight champion and one of the best 145lbers in the sport. She has a perfect 7-0 record in Bellator since joining the promotion in 2015 and has defended her belt in her last three fights. Budd is currently riding an 11-fight win streak and hasn’t lost since 2011, when she was submitted by Ronda Rousey in Strikeforce.
Cyborg vs. Budd will be one of the biggest women’s MMA fights of the year for Bellator and should serve as the main event for a card later this year.
Are you excited to see Cris Cyborg vs. Julia Budd?