Cris Cyborg lifted gold in her Bellator debut in 2020. At Bellator 238 she dethroned long-time featherweight champion Julia Budd, via fourth round TKO. Since then she has defended her title against Arlene Blencowe, Leslie Smith and Sinead Kavanagh. All of her defenses have come via stoppage.
The former UFC, Strikeforce and Invicta champion is now waiting for her next opponent. According to Bellator CEO Scott Coker that challenger is likely to be a former UFC title contender, Cat Zingano.
“Cat has reached out and wants to fight Cyborg, so I think our inclination is to put that fight together,” said Coker in an interview with MMA Junkie. “We’re going to have multiple fights in February and multiple fights in March and multiple fights in April and multiple fights in May. We’re going to start lining these big fights up and start knocking them off.”
Zingano started her MMA career with a 9-0 record. Her UFC debut was a TKO win over Miesha Tate in 2013 that earned her the right to coach The Ultimate Fighter opposite then bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey.
However, that opportunity would be lost after Zingano suffered a serious knee injury. She returned to action in 2014 with a TKO over future champion Amanda Nunes. That win earned her a shot against Rousey.
Zingano lost to Rousey via a quick submission. In the years that followed Zingano was plagued by injuries, forcing her to be inactive for years at a time. She only fought for the UFC four times between 2015 and 2019.
She went 1-3 in those fights with losses to Julianna Pena, Ketlen Vieira and Megan Anderson. The win was over Marion Reneau.
Zingano joined Bellator in 2019 and has won her first two bouts with the company.
Before she signed for Bellator, Cyborg had a 6-1 record with the UFC. That record includes wins over Holly Holm and Felicia Spencer. Her lone loss is her featherweight title defeat to Amanda Nunes in 2018. Her only other loss, across her 28 fight career, is a submission defeat in her pro debut in 2005.