Cris Cyborg’s era in Bellator MMA beings later this evening (Sat., Jan. 25, 2020) at Bellator 238 live on DAZN from inside The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., as the former UFC, Strikeforce, and Invicta FC women’s featherweight champion makes her debut against 145-pound titleholder Julia Budd in the main event.
Cyborg is widely regarded as one of the best female fighters in the history of the sport. With three major world titles under her belt it’s difficult to disparage the accomplishments of the Brazilian legend, even if she was knocked out in 51 seconds by UFC champion Amanda Nunes just 13 months ago.
After her nasty breakup with UFC last year, Cyborg wasted little time inking a record-breaking deal with Bellator MMA and reuniting with former promoter Scott Coker. It’s a move that immediately sets her up for a title fight with Budd and allows her to wipe the slate clean of her infamous loss to Nunes.
“I feel in my heart, that loss is God’s gift,” Cyborg told MMA Junkie earlier this week. “Because if (it did) not happen, I would not be here now. And now I am so happy for this new chapter, new era for me. I’m so happy in Bellator. If not happen, I would have to stay unhappy and struggling every day. And now I’m happy here, you know? Now I am focused on training, fighting.”
Cyborg, 34, is looking to make a huge splash in Bellator MMA, defeat Budd on arrival later tonight at Bellator 238, and become the first fighter to win four major world titles (UFC, Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and Bellator). It would be an incredible feat to add to her already iron-clad resume, but Cyborg is looking to get even more out of her Bellator crossover than just another gold belt.
“I think the belt means a lot of me, for me, just be thankful to have a belt around me,” Cyborg said. “For me, to use this platform to share my faith and touch people’s hearts and do what I love to do. You know? This belt is important to touch people’s hearts I’m going to hold their hand for a long time.”
Cyborg has a lot of potential in her new home and Coker is giving her the keys to the city to try and get things done. It all starts with Budd this weekend at Bellator 238. Cyborg is a massive favorite to win the 145-pound title fight, but Budd has won 11 fights in a row and has only lost to Nunes and Ronda Rousey in her professional career.