Cris Cyborg has added yet another item to the most impressive resume in women’s MMA history once again.
The only fighter of either gender to hold championships in four major promotions, Cyborg (23-2 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) made the first successful defense of her Bellator featherweight title on Thursday night, and notched the first submission victory of her career in the process.
Cyborg submitted Australia’s Arlene Blencowe with a rear-naked choke at the 2:36 mark of the second round to retain her belt in the main event of Bellator 249 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
“I’ve really been working hard because I had first submission in MMA,” Cyborg said in her post-fight interview. “I never did that before since the beginning of my career, it is a dream come true, and I am so happy.”
There seemed little doubt of the fight’s outcome from the outset. Cyborg initiated the action by moving forward and landing leg kicks. Blencowe (13-8 MMA, 6-4 BMMA) made one attempt to stave off a vintage Cyborg flurry, but she was met with a furious onslaught in response.
Cyborg outstruck Blencowe 62-4 over the course of the fight. When she got Blencowe to the mat in the first, she telegraphed her intentions by going for a choke. She didn’t get it there. But in the second Cyborg got a takedown, rained down punches from full mount, and finally got the opening for her RNC finish.
Cyborg’s first career submission win was her 19th career finish. Blencowehad a three-fight win streak snapped.
Complete Bellator 249 results:
- Cris Cyborg def. Arlene Blencowe via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round, 2:36 – retains featherweight title
- Leandro Higo def. Ricky Bandejas via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 2, 2:32
- Steve Mowry def. Shawn Teed via TKO (knee and punches) — Round 1, 4:22
- Saad Awad vs. Mandel Nallo is ruled a no-contest (accidental groin strike) — Round 1, 1:44
- Andrew Kapel def. Joseph Creer via TKO (doctor stoppage) — Round 2, 5:00
- Kemran Lachinov def. Kyle Crutchmer via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Christian Edwards def. Hamza Salim via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 2, 1:28
- Da’Mon Blackshear def. Mike Kimbel via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 2, 4:14
- Aviv Gozali def. Logan Neal via submission (Kimura) — Round 1, 3:22
- Albert Gonzales def. Kastriot Xhema via TKO (retirement) — Round 2, 5:00