Tomorrow night in the main event of Bellator 259, the women’s featherweight title is up for grabs. The reigning champion and all time great Cris Cyborg (23-2, 1 NC) is back to defend her crown against Leslie Smith (12-8-1).
This Bellator title fight is actually a rematch from 2016. Leslie Smith was the first woman to welcome Cris Cyborg to the UFC. That night, Cyborg was able to stop Smith in just 81 seconds.
Cyborg went on to capture the UFC featherweight title and now she’s the Bellator featherweight champion. Cris Cyborg lost her professional MMA debut and since then, she’s been almost perfect.
In fact, most of the time, the Bellator champion has looked indestructible. The only woman to defeat Cyborg is Amanda Nunes who did it in devastating fashion. Nunes is widely considered to be the greatest of all time so there’s no shame in Cyborg losing that one.
Since making the move to Bellator, Cyborg has gone 2-0 with two stoppage victories. Her last win against Arlene Blencowe was her first career submission victory to go along with her 18 career knockouts.
Leslie Smith is going to look to pull off the massive upset at Bellator 259. Since joining the promotion in 2019, Smith has gone 2-1 with a loss to Blencowe. Overall, Smith is 4-1 in her last five fights leading up to tomorrow night.
Bellator 260 Prediction
Cyborg will walk into Bellator 259 as a staggering -1200 favorite and she should be. Again, the only woman to defeat her was the greatest of all time. Cyborg is considered by many to be the second greatest female fighter of all time.
She’s captured titles in Strikeforce, Invicta, the UFC, and Bellator. If I’m being completely transparent, I just don’t see how Leslie Smith can win tomorrow night. Of course, it’s a fight and technically anything can happen.
However, we’ve seen this fight before and I don’t think the rematch goes any different. Smith would have to either catch Cyborg with a perfect punch or survive and outwork the champion over five rounds. Unfortunately for Leslie Smith, I don’t see this fight making it past the first round.
Prediction: Cris Cyborg by TKO – Round 1