This weekend, Bellator heads back to the sunny isles of Hawaii for a double event extraordinaire. While Bellator 278 sees the women’s flyweight title on the line, Bellator 279 features Cris Cyborg back in action defending her featherweight belt against Arlene “Angerfist” Blencowe.
Two years after their first meeting, Cyborg and “Angerfist” face each other once more – title again on the line. Let’s take a look at the upcoming fight.
Cyborg vs. Blencowe Overview
This isn’t the first time the two have met, with Cyborg past her second anniversary fighting in Bellator. After Cyborg won the title by brutally knocking out Julia Budd in the fourth round, Blencowe butted heads nine months later – only to lose via submission in the middle of the second round.
During that first meeting, Blencowe was off to a good start – keeping control of the center of the cage and meeting each attack from the Brazilian with a counter. However, Cyborg quickly found her footing in the middle of the first and took down “Angerfist,” which the latter had no chance of escaping. The second round saw an onslaught of fists from the defending champion, which ultimately gave Cyborg the back of Blencowe, leading to a rear-naked choke.
Since then, both women have fought – and won – against two others and are now back at it again.
Queen Cyborg Reigning Supreme
Fun fact: Cyborg’s first win against Blencowe marked her first-ever win by submission. The Brazilian champ’s record is full of brutal knockouts – with only three of her fights going the distance (all of which she won). In the four years since losing to Amanda Nunes, she has gone on to win five consecutive fights, inclusive of three successful title defenses since becoming featherweight champion in Bellator.
Since defending her belt against Blencowe back in 2020, the champ has added two more knockout wins to her record. A late right cross in the fifth round against Leslie Smith with nine seconds left in the round was followed by an early right hook to Sinead Kavanagh in the first. Her hands are definitely her strength, but she’s shown to still be very capable of holding her own on the ground.
In her 17 years of fighting in MMA, Cyborg has only lost to two people. Nevertheless, she still has an impressive 25-win record and has won four belts across four promotions. A legend in women’s MMA, she has brutally knocked out the likes of Gina Carano and Yana Kunitskaya, thanks to her strong hands. While Cyborg doesn’t have a perfect fight game, her weaknesses are tough to exploit, as most of her opponents have figured out – including Blencowe.
Blencowe Coming for Gold
“Angerfist” is known to train with fellow Aussie Alexander Volkanovski, which has shown promise before. Blencowe comes into Saturday on a two-fight win streak and a record that shows she’s capable of taking her opponents to the distance and has the hands to knock them out. The 39-year-old still has power in her, as seen by her recent third-round knockout against Dayana Silva post her 2020 fight against the champ.
But, the Australian hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to grabbing Bellator gold. In 2017, Blencowe faced former champ Budd which ended in an interesting split decision loss. Then, she failed to lay claim to the belt once more against Cyborg. As they say, third time’s the charm?
As shown during her performance against Nunes, people can defeat the highly dominant Cyborg. Blencowe needs to utilize a combination of speed and power, all the while ensuring that her defense stays strong if she covets that belt.
Bellator 279 starts at 8 PM ET on Showtime.
Image via Lucas Noonan, Bellator