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Cris Cyborg happy in Bellator, felt like ‘slave’ with UFC

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Following her win of the 145 pound women’s title, Cris Cyborg contrasts working for Bellator versus the UFC.

Bellator 238 Julia Budd v Cris Cyborg Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Cris Cyborg won her fourth major MMA title on Saturday night, taking the Bellator women’s featherweight title off Julia Budd with an impressive fourth round body shot TKO (watch the finish here). And while a Bellator title isn’t quite as prestigious as UFC gold, Cyborg made it clear that she was very happy in her new home and losing the UFC belt was a big part in allowing her to leave. So she’s feeling pretty glass half full about it all, and about winning her new title in the same arena she lost the old one.

“When I lost that title, I got out of the cage, I was not feeling sad,” Cyborg said during a Bellator 238 post event media scrum (via MMA Fighting). “I’m speaking real. I feel like something got off my back. I walk over there I did an interview, I know all the walls have the writings, I remembered every single part [of UFC 232]. I did the interview, and I was not sad.”

“I feel like everything happen for a reason. If I not lost that belt that day, I was not here now champion in Bellator. Here I’m happy. There I was not happy. I was working, I feel I was a slave, and I was not happy. Here I’m happy, something I choose to be.”

“When I came here and heard I was going to fight at The Forum, I said God is amazing,” Cyborg continued. “I lost my belt here, I back here and fight, I got a title. I worked really hard for this fight. I always work hard and I feel happy to have the opportunity and make history. This is going to be the only fighter to get four titles. It just means we never quit. It doesn’t matter how hard it is during your career, I had a lot of downs, good times in my career but I don’t quit. It makes me strong.”

“This is what I like to show my fans. Don’t quit. Make it strong and it’s hard. It’s hard every time.”

The win puts Cyborg back at the top of the women’s divisions where she reigned for years before Amanda Nunes managed to TKO her in December of 2018. No rematch was ever worked out - just another sign of the UFC and Cyborg being unable to work well together - but that’s no longer Cyborg’s problem. She’s ready to make new history with Bellator now.

“I’m really happy to work with Bellator,” Cyborg finished. “This is my new home. A new era. I don’t have any problems around. The boss wants to work with the fighters. I don’t have any problem. Just very thankful to be here working for Bellator.”