Bellator 249: “Cyborg vs. Blencowe” took place TONIGHT (Thurs., Oct. 15, 2020) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., streaming online via CBS Sports Network. The main event saw Cris Cyborg (22-2, 1 NC) set out to make a first successful defense of the Featherweight title against Arlene Blencowe (13-7).
Turn on the fights @BellatorMMA and watch the most successful Female MMA fighter of all time defend her title against the lady we call Angerfist !! @criscyborg vs @arleneangerfist pic.twitter.com/SMJhi8PgsB— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) October 16, 2020
The first round was all Cris Cyborg. Blencowe charged forward looking to overwhelm Cyborg with strikes, but she was patient and let her answer be leg kicks. Then, she eventually got Blencowe on the back foot and tripped her to the ground when they hit the fence. From there, she steadily improved her position to full mount and back mount, only letting Blencowe back up with 30 seconds to go, but not before having done HEAVY work with her hands and elbows.
Cyborg’s first round dominance was the beginning of the end for Blencowe. She tried to rush forward to meet Cyborg with her hands, but it didn’t take long before she was hurt by the hands that met her head. When she bloodied Blencowe up, the takedown followed at 1:14, and the full mount wasn’t far behind. A strong elbow made Blencowe give up her back, and Cyborg got her FIRST-EVER submission via rear naked choke at 2:36 of round two. She spoke to “Big” John McCarthy after her hand was raised by Kevin MacDonald.
“Thank you God for the opportunity. This is amazing. My corner is amazing. It’s just like a video game. Thank you Rafael Cordeiro. After Julia Budd, I always have to improve my game and get better. I’ve been really working hard to have my first submission in MMA, I never did it before, and this is a dream come true. I’m really happy and excited for the next one. I’m very happy to be here in Bellator. The man Scott Coker just has to tell me who’s next and I’ll be ready.”
A Bantamweight co-main event pitted Ricky Bandejas (13-4) against Leandro Higo (19-5). It was Bandejas’ option to take the fight as Higo missed weight, but he was ready and willing to proceed.
The time has come for the co-main event of the evening! @RickyBandejas faces @LeandroHigoMMA LIVE in the Bellator cage NOW!⁰— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 16, 2020
You can watch this bout with @CBSSportsNet in the and via @SkySports in the .#Bellator249 pic.twitter.com/b7kiCgCeOt
Unfortunately being “Ready or Not” didn’t help him despite The Fugees’ song walking him out to the cage. Higo walked through his leg kicks and took him down to dominate the majority of the first round. He then carried him around like a sack of potatoes in the second frame before slamming him down, taking the back, and submitting him with a rear naked choke at 2:32.
12 subs, 6 by RNC for @LeandroHigoMMA!#BellatorMMA #Bellator249 #MMA pic.twitter.com/FbpFPmg4Uu— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 16, 2020
Two Heavyweight fighters got elevated from preliminary action to the main card — Steve Mowry (7-0) vs. Shawn Teed (6-2-1).
The #Bellator249 main card rolls on as @Teed and @TallSteveMMA square off in The Bellator cage!— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 16, 2020
Catch this bout LIVE on @CBSSportsNet in the U.S. and with @SkySports in the U.K. pic.twitter.com/7Mau64qim6
Mowry made the most of the moment by repeatedly crushing his opponent’s chin with knees up the middle. The last one floored Teed and left Mowry not wanting to throw any more strikes, but referee Kerry Hatley was slow to wave it off. Mowry reluctantly jumped on top for a couple of strikes, and he finally called it off, awarding Mowry the win by technical knockout at 4:22. He spoke to John McCarthy next.
“I feel like the culture that you’re in defines the fighter you become. I can’t say how grateful I am to the rest of the guys at Sanford. I’ve been telling my teammates for weeks, actually since my last fight in October, that one of these days I’m going to touch someone’s chin. I knew if I put these knees on somebody done, they’re going down.”
"The culture that you're in defines the fighter that you become."@TallSteveMMA was victorious tonight at #Bellator249.#MMA #Bellator pic.twitter.com/2BWr0KFNmr— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 16, 2020
Rounding out the main card was Saad Awad (23-13) vs. Mandel Nallo (7-1) at Lightweight.
We kick off tonight’s scintillating main card with @SaadMMA vs. @NoTweetMandel and this fight is sure to deliver!— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 16, 2020
Tune in live NOW with @CBSSportsNet in the and via @SkySports in the .#Bellator249 pic.twitter.com/35VEq5l0vM
Unfortunately there isn’t much to say about this one due to the fact Nallo caught Awad with a knee to the groin in clinch that Awad could not recover from, leaving Kerry Hatley to wave off the fight at 1:41 of round one for a NO CONTEST.
For complete Bellator 249 results and coverage click here.