Cris Cyborg Becomes The New Bellator Featherweight Champion

Well, Cyborg did a Cyborg.

Former UFC Champion Cris Cyborg defeated Julia Budd to become the Bellator Featherweight Champion earlier today at Bellator 238. Not only was this her first fight in the promotion, it was the fourth championship victory of her career.

Round one gave us a ton of positional fighting, with Cyborg taking Budd to the cage for a battle in the clinch early on. While several reversals occur, Cyborg is more active on the attack with a few big knees to the body. A minute in the clinch breaks, and Cyborg scores a trip takedown into side control. Budd stands up in the scramble and pushes back into the cage. Minutes later they disengage and Budd lands a big right on Cyborg. Cyborg responds with a jump kick, but falls and Budd goes to pass.

Cyborg appears to almost have a triangle locked up, but then opts for an armbar attempt that sputters as bus stacks to pass. Pinning Cyborg in a crouch with a minute left, Budd hits her with an illegal knee to the head and both fighters are stood up by Jamie Hyneman’s final form, Referee Mike Beltran. A few exchanges later and the round ends.

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Round two and Cyborg is looking for blood. Getting a takedown by catching a kick thrown by Budd, she immediately backs the Canadian up against the cage with strikes. Budd tries an Uchi Mata, but Cyborg quickly cheats out to her back and doubles her over. Letting her up, Cyborg scores two hooks as Budd recovers her footing. Cyborg does a great job controlling the center of the octagon, keeping Budd on the outside perimeter or against the cage most of the round. Budd attempts a single leg at the close of the round, but is unable to get the takedown.

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Round three Cyborg stick to her game plan. But Budd is able to reverse her against the cage initially. She also gets a few good knees to the body and secures underhooks while looking for a leg.

The two women find the center of the ring half way through the round and Budd lands a front kick before being driven back once again. Landing an overhand right, Cyborg shoots and lands in Budd’s closed guard. Standing, Cyborg kicks at Budd’s legs as Budd catches her breath off her back. This relaxation backfires as Cyborg slides past the guard into side control. Budd is able to keep Cyborg pinned and unable to throw many strikes initially, but the Brazilian phenom moves to mount and lands a few significant head strikes in the closing seconds of the round.

Round four saw the knife finally go in. Throwing three kicks at a patient Cyborg, Budd was rocked by a one two to the body that opened the way for an absolute barrage from Cyborg. Knees and punches all found their mark in seconds, as the former champion slowly devoured the current queen of the Bellator Featherweight division. Beltran stepped in to halt the beating, and Cyborg was declared winner by TKO at 1:14 into round four.

This brings Cyborg’s record to 22-2 and Budd’s to 13-3

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