Bellator 259: “Cyborg vs Smith 2” is set to air TONIGHT (Fri., May 21, 2021) from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., broadcasting via Showtime. Current women’s Featherweight champion Cris Cyborg will rematch Leslie Smith in the headlining act, while Darrion Caldwell faces Leandro Higo in the co-main event.
Bellator 259’s main card will air on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will deliver results for the full card and comprehensive play-by-play for the televised portion of Bellator 259 below.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 259) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show — it’s always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 259 QUICK RESULTS:
145 lbs.: Cris Cyborg vs. Leslie Smith - Cyborg via fifth round TKO (HIGHLIGHTS)
135 lbs.: Darrion Caldwell vs. Leandro Higo - Higo via split decision
185 lbs.: Austin Vanderford vs. Fabian Edwards - Vanderford via unanimous decision
170 lbs.: Jaleel Willis vs. Maycon Mendonca - Willis via unanimous decision
125 lbs.: Valerie Loureda vs. Hannah Guy — Guy via unanimous decision (HIGHLIGHTS)
155 lbs.: Alexander Shabliy vs. Alfie Davis - Shabliy via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Saad Awad vs. Nate Andrews - Awad via first round knockout
145 lbs.: Leah McCourt vs. Janay Harding - McCourt, second round submission (triangle)
265 lbs.: Davion Franklin vs. Tyler King — Franklin via first round knockout
155 lbs.: Aviv Gozali vs. Sean Felton — Gozali via first round submission (heel hook)
205 lbs.: Grant Neal vs. Tyree Fortune - Neal, first round submission (rear-naked choke)
125 lbs.: Sumiko Inaba vs. Kristina Katsikis - Inaba via third round TKO
135 lbs.: Danny Sabatello vs. Brett Johns - Sabatello via unanimous decision
BELLATOR 259 PLAY-BY-PLAY RESULTS:
Cris Cyborg vs. Leslie Smith
Round 1: Straight right from Cyborg to start things off. Leg kick to the body from the champ. Nice body shot from Cyborg, who is stalking Smith down. Three-punch combo from Cyborg. Smith yet to fire off anything. Smith with a nice right hand. Cyborg lands a left and takes Smith down to the mat. Side control for Cyborg. Knee to the body from Cyborg and she does her best Brock Lesnar impression by delivering a massive suplex on Smity. Amazing. Massive right hand from Cyborg and Smith lands a low left kick to the shin. Cyborg eats it and fires off a left hand. 10-9 Cyborg.
Round 2: They exchange strikes in the center of the cage. Calf kick from Smith. Jab to the body from Cyborg. Inside leg kick from Smith, Cyborg counters with a right hand. Left hook from Cyborg lands flush. Front kick from the champion. Smith isn’t showing any fear, as she is now walking Cyborg down. Nice jab from Cyborg, and then a low kick. Another nice jab from Cyborg. Body shot from the champion. Cyborg working the kicks to the body. Cyborg rocks Smith and she goes in for the kill. She lands a takedown and lets her back up. Cyborg stalking as she lands a left hook to close out the round. 10- 9 Cyborg
Round 3: Smith rushes to the center of the cage. Fires off some shots and Cyborg closes the distance and slams her to the canvas. After a brief scramble, Smith pops back up. Cyborg with a big left hand. Smith with a counter right. Smith stalking again, but Cyborg isn’t letting up and lands a massive leg kick. They go to the canvas and Cyborg takes Smith’s back. Smith is hanging tough but Cyborg is dominating. Cyborg working the jab, then an inside leg kick. Smith with two jabs, Cyborg isn’t fazed. Cyborg with a one-two combo. 10-9 Cyborg.
Round 4: High kick from Smith, Cyborg fires back with a left hook. Leg kick from the champion. Nice straight right hand from Cyborg. Inside leg kick lands for Cris. Smith is dropped by Cyborg but she pops back up. Smith is hanging tough, but she hasn’t landed much cleanly. Cyborg in full control as she lands another takedown. A little ground-and-pound from the champion for good measure. Smith needs to pick up the pace if she wants any chance of scoring a stoppage because she is down 4-0. 10-9 Cyborg.
Round 5: Cyborg scores a takedown early in the round. Nice right hand from Smith as she works her way back up. Cyborg crushes her with a nice right hand. Smith hanging tough as she takes the center of the cage but she is eating a lot of shots. Cyborg with a nice kick to the body and then a she clinches and takes the fight to the ground one more time. Smith pops back up, showing her toughness. Cyborg lands a huge right hand. Cyborg is in cruise control but Smith just gained some fans by showing her heart. Cyborg drops Smith with a huge right hand! Cyborg jumps in with some ground-and-pound and scores a late stoppage win with 10 seconds remaining. Wow!
Final Result: Cyborg via fifth round technical knockout
Darrion Caldwell vs. Leandro Higo
Round 1: High kick from Caldwell, Higo returns fire with a calf kick. Caldwell goes in for a level change and lands a takedown, but Higo has a guillotine attempt in. Caldwell escapes and is in half guard. Huge elbows from Caldwell split Higo’s forehead wide open. Higo with a body lock, but isn’t doing anything to Caldwell. Caldwell postures and rains down some punishment. Higo with an armbar attempt switches to an triangle. Side control for Caldwell. Heel hook attempt from Higo. Caldwell escapes and drops down some hammer fists to close out the round. 10-9 Caldwell
Round 2: Low kick from Higo. Caldwell fires back with the same. Higo with a nice leg kick/trip that sends Caldwell down to the canvas. Higo attempts an armbar by Caldwell gets into guard. Caldwell is lightning quick with the transitions. Higo trying to pepper Caldwell with some shots from bottom, aren’t doing much damage. Exchanging body shots while Caldwell enjoys top position. Caldwell isn’t doing much, and Higo has actually been busier from bottom. Caldwell content with just laying there on top of him, surprisingly. Elbow strike from Caldwell. Can opener from Caldwell, but Higo is still firing off some shots and landing. They may not be hard shots but the judges are noticing. Wierd round. 10-9 Higo.
Round 3: They meet in the center of the cage. Caldwell throws a kick, Higo catches it and carries him across the stage like a statue. That was odd-looking. Caldwell has Higo’s back, fighting for wrist control. Knee strikes to the thighs from Caldwell. North-South position for Higo, who is bleeding from his forehead. Caldwell looks exhausted, now is the time for Higo. The referee breaks them up after claiming Higo landed an illegal knee, which he did. No point taken away but they will restart on the feet. Caldwell shoots for a takedown but Higo defends well. Higo has a guillotine in and Caldwell escapes. Higo is now in top control. He needs to speed it up with 90 seconds left. Caldwell tries to sink in a heel hook but Higo defends and takes Caldwell’s back. Higo with a tight body lock. Caldwell unloads some strikes from top position to end the round. Tough round to score. 10-9 Higo.
Final Result: Higo defeats Caldwell via split decision
Austin Vanderford vs. Fabian Edwards
Round 1: Vanderford scores a quick takedown less than 30 seconds into the fight. Body shots from Vanderford. Edwards asked for a wrestling match and he’s got it here. Strong control from Vanderford. Edwards fights his way back up and is in stalker mode. Edwards with some nice striking but Vanderford is quick to fire back. Vanderford shoots in for another takedown and gets it with ease. This is not good for Edwards, who is obviously at a disadvantage in the wrestling department. The rounds comes to an end with Vanderford on top, pretty much controlled the entire round. 10-9 Vanderford
Round 2: Quick low blow from Edwards and there is a break in action. They meet in the center of the cage after a brief pause. Vanderford fires off a nice combination and a high kick in return from Edwards. Vanderford shoots and slams Edwards down to the mat. Dominant position again from “Mr. VanZant.” Edwards trying his hardest to escape but Vanderford's grip is solid and isn’t letting go. Edwards taking a breather. Edwards works his way back to his feet but still has Vanderford all over him and once again he’s in top position. Vanderford with some nice elbows, staying busy. Edwards has no answer for Vanderford’s wrestling. 10-9 Vanderford
Round 3: Edwards trying his hardest to keep the fight standing but Vanderford once again scores a takedown. And he isn’t just laying there either, working his elbows and shots to the body. Vanderford now covers Edwards’ mouth to alter his breathing. Edwards tries to break free but Vanderford adjusts and gets into half guard. Edwards looks like a fish out of water on the ground, he simply has nothing for Vanderford on the mat. Vanderford unleashes some more ground-and-pound, racking up the points and is in cruise control. Vanderford now unloading on Edwards, but he is now spilling blood thanks to a perfectly placed elbow from Edwards at the end of the round. 10-9 Vanderford
Final Result: Vanderford defeats Edwards via unanimous decision
Valerie Loureda vs Hannah Guy
Round 1: Clinch in the center and Guy pushes Loureda to the cage. They break. Nice one, two from Loureda. Left hook drops Guy and Loureda pounces. She lets her back up, odd. Nice left hook from Guy. Action has slowed a bit. Guy shoots for the takedown. She has an armbar. Loureda in trouble here. Guy working hard to lock it in. Loureda working hard to escape but Guy isn’t letting go. Loureda trying hard and she breaks free. Right hook from Guy and she shoots in for another takedown but Loureda defends well. Guy with knees to the midsection as she pushes Loureda up to the cage. Spinning kick from Loureda and Guy clinches again. Loureda gets the takedown to end the round as Guy attempts another armbar. Very close round. 10-9 Loureda
Round 2: Guy blitzes in and gets caught by Loureda. Guy shoots in for a takedown bout Loureda reverses nicely and ends up in top position. Guy reverses and she is now on top. Half guard for Guy. Guy mounts and she starts unloading the ground-and-pound. Loureda is in serious trouble here. Guy has a triangle in and Loureda is eating shots. Guy in full control, the referee looking closely. Loureda escapes and she is now in closed guard. Guy is bleeding from her nose, not sure which strike caught her. Rubber guard from Guy, searching for another submission attempt. Guy gets another armbar in and it is tight. Guy is relentless with her jiu-jitsu. Loureda steps over but Guy isn’t letting go. Hammer fists from guy as she tries to put some torque on the armbar. Loureda escapes and she lands a spinning backfist. Another close round. 10-9 Guy.
Round 3: We're at one round a piece going into the final round. Guy once again closes distance and sinks in a guillotine choke. Loureda escapes and she lets Guy back up. High kick lands for “Master.” Guy once again closes the distance and pushes her foe up against the cage. Loureda reverses and starts swinging for the fences. Guy drops to the mat and Loureda lets her back up. Guy shoots in for the takedown. She is now on her back and Loureda lands a couple of clean shots on her way down. Once again Loureda lets her back up. Guy coming forward and Loureda tags her with a 1-2 combo. Guy in search of a takedown but Loureda is defending well. Guy attempts a wild spinning back kick and Guy capitalizes and takes her down. Bad move from Loureda. Guy now in great top position and she will try to ride out the round that way. Guy passes guard and starts landing some ground-and-pound as the round comes to an end. The fighters embrace on the ground and have a little chat. Great sportsmanship. Close round once again. 10-9 Guy.
Final Result: Guy defeats Loureda via unanimous decision
Jaleel Willis vs. Maycon Mendonca
Round 1: Calf kick from Mendonca, Willis returns fire. They exchange kicks through the first minute. Willis changes levels and scores a takedown. Mendonca back up and Willis takes him right back down. Back to the feet and Willis pushes Mendonca up against the cage and refuses to let go of his tight grip. Willis goes in for another takedown and he gets it. Mendonca gets back up to his feet but Willis won’t let him go. Half guard from Willis, who has shown great grappling skills. Mendonca tries to land some strikes but aren’t doing much damage. 10-9 Willis.
Round 2: Mendonca lands a huge overhand right early in round two. Willis fires right back and lands another good leg kick. High kick from Mendonca. Willis with a right hand straight down the pipe. Nice counter right from Willis. Two minutes remain. Willis scored a huge takedown after Mendonca whiffs on a right hand. Hammer fists from Willis. From half guard to full guard. Mendonca works his way back to his feet. Willis once again attempts another takedown and he gets it. Was a very close round until Willis stole it with two late takedowns. 10-9 Willis.
Round 3: Nice calf kick lands for Mendonca. Low kick from Mendonca. Break in action. Willis lands a good right hand and Mendonca starts working the leg kicks. There is another low blow from Mendonca. Willis shakes it off after a minute of break. Mendonca attempts a spinning backfist and whiffs. Willis grabs a hold of him and attempts a takedown but Mendonca fights it off. Spinning back kick lands for Mendonca. Lead right from Willis, follows it with a left hand. Nice jab work from Willis followed up by a leg kick. Willis changes levels and looks for the single. It was rinse and repeat for Willis for three rounds. 10-9 Willis.
Final Result: Willis defeats Mendonca via unanimous decision
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