In cased you missed the Bellator 255 broadcast last Friday, we learned that the promotion has finalized a big time women’s matchup. The matchup will headline Bellator 259 on May 21st.
That matchup features the Bellator featherweight champion Cris Cyborg (23-2, 1 NC) taking on Leslie Smith (12-8-1). This is the second time that these two ladies have squared off against each other.
There was a ton of hype around their first meeting because it was the UFC debut of Cyborg. Leslie Smith was tasked with welcoming Cyborg to the world’s premier MMA organization.
Smith had traditionally competed at 135 pounds, but she moved up to take on the challenge of Cyborg. Ultimately, Cyborg was able to get the TKO victory over Leslie Smith in the first round.
Since that loss to Cyborg back in 2016, Leslie Smith has gone 4-1. She also made the move to Bellator during this stretch of her career. This 4-1 stretch is the best five fight stretch that she’s had since making her professional debut.
The 38 year old Smith might be on the best stretch of her career, but she has a giant mountain in front of her at Bellator 259. That mountain is one of the greatest women’s mixed martial artists of all time.
Cris Cyborg made her professional debut back in 2005. That night, she was submitted in the first round by knee bar. Since that night, Cyborg has gone 23-1, 1 NC in 25 fights.
The only woman that’s made Cyborg look human is Amanda Nunes. Nunes fought Cyborg back in 2018 and knocked her out in under a minute. Granted, while Cyborg is one of the best, Amanda Nunes is by far the greatest to ever do it.
After that loss to Nunes, Cyborg fought once more in the UFC before moving to Bellator. She made her debut with the promotion and took on long reigning featherweight champion, Julia Budd.
Cyborg was able to score the fourth round TKO. She made her first title defense back in October and submitted dangerous challenger Arlene Blencowe in the second round. There is no questioning the fact that Cyborg is the best that Bellator has to offer and she will look to continue her dominance in May.