Tonight, Cris Cyborg defeated Julia Budd to cement her legacy as one of the greatest mixed martial artists to ever compete in the sport — man or woman.
The Brazilian finished Budd with strikes in the fourth round to claim the Bellator featherweight title, making it the fourth promotion in which she’s found gold. Cyborg has previously won Strikeforce, Invicta and UFC titles.
Last year, Cyborg left the UFC after a falling out with Dana White, leading to her signing with Bellator and getting an opportunity that few other fighters manage in their careers. Against Budd, while she didn’t dominate the champion as we’ve come to expect, Cyborg pulled away in the second half of the third, leading to a trademark barrage in the fourth.
“I respect Julia,” Cyborg said post-fight. “She was a long time undefeated. I’m really happy. This is a new era. I’m happy to be a Bellator champion.”
What’s next for Cyborg is currently unknown, but Budd immediately declared interest in a rematch, while Cyborg hinted a Grand Prix could be in discussions.
The new champion has also expressed a longtime interest in a professional boxing bout, something Bellator president Scott Coker has made clear he’d be happy to cater to.
.@CrisCyborg caps off her brilliant Bellator debut with a round 4 TKO! 🏆#Bellator238 pic.twitter.com/byDfekcas7
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) January 26, 2020