Bellator 249: Best Performers, Biggest Loser

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Bellator 249 went live on CBS Sports Network from the Mohegan Sun Arena, in Uncasville, Connecticut. The card was capped off with Cris Cyborg‘s Featherweight Title defense against Arlene Blencowe.

Biggest Loser

Saad Awad

My heart sunk at the end of Saad Awad‘s night. The once surging lightweight looked to gain his first victory in the Bellator cage since June 2018. His opponent, Mandel Nallo, was fighting the biggest fight of his career. With such high tensions, the night ended in underwhelming fashion when Saad Awad was unable to continue via an unintentional groin strike. The “No Contest” ruling left Awad empty-handed and Nallo disappointed.

Bellator 249’s Top Performers

Steve Mowry

Steve Mowry had a short night. With his highlight-reel worthy knockout over Shawn Teed, the undefeated fighter moved to 8-0 in his professional career and 4-0 in the Bellator cage. The first round finish came via a flurry of strikes that started with a devastating knee. Mowry, a quiet contender in the heavyweight division, has a 100% finish rate.

Leandro Higo

Leandro Higo fought a dominant fight over top bantamweight, Ricky Bandejas. Higo pushed forward the entire fight and commanded the flow of the match. Bandejas seemed uncomfortable and unwilling to throw much of anything. Higo took advantage and swooped Bandejas to the ground, where he found a second-round submission. The victory, via rear-naked choke, pushes Higo’s win streak to two. Arguably, Higo’s dominant performance propels him into the top of the division and talks of title contention.

Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg is ageless. Her crisp punches, powerful kicks, and smooth transitions were just too much for Arlene Blencowe. The 4-promotion champion dominated Blencowe throughout and barely broke a sweat doing so. Cyborg, now 2-0 in Bellator, earned the first submission victory of her career. Cyborg outstruck Blencowe 52-4. With such dominance, it’s hard to imagine anyone will be able to stop the legend that is Cris Cyborg.

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Brian Knight is a contributing writer and active editor for MMASucka since November 2020. He is currently authoring his first book.

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