Cris Cyborg retained her Bellator MMA Featherweight title, defeating Arlene Blencowe for the second time in Bellator 279’s main event in Honolulu, Hawaii, but it was far from a cakewalk for the dominant champion.
After dropping Blencowe with a clean right hand in the opening round, the fight seemed as if it was going to be over rather quickly. But, Blencowe survived the onslaught from the champion. Throughout the five rounds, Blencowe had several shining moments, even forcing Cyborg back with huge shots of her own, catching her off balance on multiple occasions.
Blencowe continued to show her toughness and willingness to stand and trade with Cyborg, a gameplan that doesn’t work out well for too many people. Bloodied and bruised, Blencowe stood in the pocket and gave it all she had against the fearsome striker, taking her the distance for just the fourth time of her storied combat career.
In the end, the judges awarded Cyborg the unanimous decision, but Blencowe — who was in tears after the fight — earned massive respect from Cyborg, as well as fight fans, for gutting through a tough 25-minute war against one of the most feared fighters in the history of women’s MMA.
Nevertheless, with the win, Cyborg extends her win streak to six since losing to Amanda Nunes, which includes four consecutive title defenses of her Bellator MMA women’s Featherweight title.
Now the question remains: Who’s next?
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