Cris Cyborg is once again a world champion.
Having previously won women’s featherweight titles in Strikeforce, Invicta, and the UFC, Cyborg took the Bellator 145 lbs belt away from Julia Budd in front of a pro-Cyborg crowd in Inglewood, California. The Brazilian didn’t have a totally easy night against the Canadian, but she steadily wore down and picked apart Budd as the fight progressed. By the end of round three it was a foregone conclusion, as Budd was fully mounted and nearly stopped with ground strikes just before the horn sounded. An onslaught of shots in round four had Budd hurt, and a straight right to the body folded Julia up and led to Mike Beltran calling the fight over.
Cyborg is now Bellator’s new featherweight queen, handing Julia Budd her first defeat since Ronda Rousey way back in 2011. It was a great performance that showed her grappling, defensive wrestling, and (of course) striking prowess.
Round 4 - Some might consider that third round a 10-8 based on positional control. I’ll give Budd the pass since she didn’t absorb much damage beyond those closing seconds. The Canadian will surely need a finish to retain her title. A slow start to round four, not much action thirty seconds in. Cyborg starts unleashing! Budd is backed against the cage. Cyborg is not letting up! Budd starts turning away a little. Referee steps in, Cyborg celebrates. A new Bellator champion is crowned.
Cris Cyborg def. Julia Budd via TKO at 1:14 of round four
Watch the highlights below.