Cris Cyborg made a successful Bellator MMA debut when she defeated Julia Budd at Bellator 238 and won the featherweight title. In doing so, Cyborg also added her fourth promotional world title, adding the Bellator belt to a trophy case that already included Strikeforce, Invicta and UFC belts.
Feeling refreshed with her new promotion unlike her time in the UFC, Cyborg put on a performance to remember in her Bellator debut. Her performance against Budd was masterful enough to get the attention of a former champion as well.
Sirius XM‘s Miesha Tate, who is also a former UFC and Strikeforce champion, gave her thoughts on Cyborg’s victory over Budd, saying she really liked her approach in the fight.
“She’s damn near one of a kind and I liked her approach,” Tate said of Cyborg. “You know what I learned from this fight with Cyborg and Julia Budd? Julia Budd, physically, I think is on par with Cyborg, and not very many women at the 145-pound level I would say compete with Cyborg, strength for strength. Julia Budd is one of those women. She’s just as big, if not bigger, if you can imagine, than Cyborg.”
Tate would continue praising Cris Cyborg for her gameplan inside the cage against Budd and noted that Cyborg fought a bit differently than she’s been known to do throughout her career.
“Strength was not a discrepancy in this,” Tate said. “Cyborg was just the better woman that night. What I liked is that, in the first round Cyborg did not go out like a mad-woman like she’s done countless times before and I think was her mistake against Amanda [Nunes] and I said that. If she doesn’t respect that, she’s going to get hurt. Amanda has a right hand that can put anyone away, man or woman. I’m telling you right now, you get cracked with that thing, chances are you’re going down. Cyborg went out with reckless abandonment and she got put away. But what’d she learn after that? This is what is a telltale sign of a veteran of someone who is still evolving, even though she’s been in the game for such a long time.”
In the fight against Budd, Tate noted that Cyborg made changes to her initial approach which helped her execute later on in the fight.
“She went out in the first round with respect, she respected the champ, Julia Budd,” Tate said. “And then she came in stronger in the second round and she eventually got the fight done, she put the pedal to the metal and came out as the vintage Cyborg. It was exciting to watch the progression of how Cyborg unraveled the puzzle. We say it was a mauling but it was when Cyborg decided to turn it on, it wasn’t like this wasn’t a good fight. There was competitive points. Julia never got off like Cyborg did. Julia never got started and once Cyborg started going it was a slippery-slope for Julia Budd, it was the beginning of the end.”
As noted, both Tate and Cyborg have held titles in both Strikeforce and UFC, and in her victory to capture the Bellator featherweight title, Miesha Tate saw a different version of Cyborg, which reminded everyone how legendary she has been throughout her career.
What do you make of Miesha Tate’s comments on Cris Cyborg?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/31/2020.