Bellator 249 – Cris Cyborg vs Arlene Blencowe: fight card, prediction,...

When MMA women pioneer Cris Cyborg looks at the best of her transition from UFC to Bellator MMA over the past 12 months, the fact that she can finally compete in her own weight class against fighters of her size ranks high.

Cyborg (22-2, 1 NC), who won the Bellator Featherweight Title on her January advertising debut by stopping Julia Budd, believes she is now the face of the world’s deepest 145-pound women’s division. It’s a far cry from her nearly two-year run as the UFC featherweight champion that saw multiple fights against inflated bantam weights.

“The only thing that makes me really happy is [to have] real 145 pound opponents, “said Cyborg on Tuesday, Virtual Media Day.” I’ve always fought for it, and at the beginning of my career I always believed in the 145 pound division. That pleases me very much [Bellator MMA president] Scott Coker signs all girls at 145. It’s going to be a great division and there will be great fights.

“I know all girls weigh 145 pounds. I don’t see any other organization where all girls are 145 pounds – maybe two or three. We all have girls in Bellator. ”

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The 35-year-old cyborg will defend her crown for the first time on Thursday when she competes against former title challenger Arlene Blencowe (13-7) at the Mohegan Sun’s Bellator 249 main event in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Blencowe, a 37-year-old native Australian, is the division’s top contender thanks to a 7-2 run over the past five years. The only defeats came from a close decision by Budd, including a majority decision in 2016 and losing the split decision on their rematch for the title a year later.

“I understand why I am an outsider, I am 13-7 years old. If someone from the outside looks into my file without knowing the full story, I’m sure the underdog, ”said Blencowe. “I lost to Julia twice and Cris finished her in the fourth round. But I said styles lead to struggles. I feel like I have the skills to beat cyborg. ”

“I have to put some fear in her, assert myself and just fight my fight. I think everyone just crumbles into their fight, but at the end of the day I never shied away from being hit. ”

Though Blencowe brings experience to the fray as a former professional boxer, the odds makers sit back heavily in cyborgs’ favor, including William Hill who installs her as the -1429 favorite. Cyborg is aware that she is a big favorite, but doesn’t take anything for granted.

“For me, I always remember that I’m always number 1. I always think I have to fight to get my title, ”said Cyborg. “I think this kind motivates me every morning when I wake up. It’s the same pressure I put on myself every day at the gym that leads to a fight.

“I’ve seen a couple of fights from [Blencowe]and it is tough. She likes to strike and is twice world champion in boxing. But this is MMA and it’s going to be a great fight. ”

Battle card

Bellator 249 main card (10 p.m. ET)

  • Cris Cyborg versus Arlene Blencowe, women’s featherweight title
  • Patricky Pitbull versus Jaleel Lewis, lightweights
  • Ricky Bandejas versus Leandro Higo, bantam weights
  • Saad Awad versus Almond Nallo, lightweights

Bellator 249 Preliminary Round (7:15 p.m. ET)

  • Albert Gonzales against Kastroit Xhema, world weights
  • Aviv Gozali versus Logan Neal, world weights
  • Mike Kimbel v Da’Mon Blackshear, 140 pound catch weights
  • Christian Edwards versus Hamza Salim, light heavyweights
  • Kyle Crutchmer versus Kemron Lachinov, world weights
  • Joseph Creer versus Andrew Kapel, middleweights
  • Steve Mowry versus Shawn Teed, heavyweights

Display information

  • Date: Thursday, October 14th | Start time: 10 p.m. ET (main menu)
  • Place: Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, Connecticut
  • TV channel: CBS Sports Network | Live broadcast: CBSSports.com (authentication required)
  • You can also stream the preliminary rounds after the main card here for free without authentication

forecast

One day, cyborg will show up old in a fight. If her recent loss to an eternally tough Budd is a sign of that, these days don’t seem to be going too fast.

The main problem for Blencowe, despite her hunger and confidence, is that whatever she does well as a stand-up striker with good hands – Cyborg does it even better. That’s a formula that only bodes well for Blencowe if she can bite off Cyborg’s power-shots and find a way to land meaningful counter-shots herself.

In her credit, Blencowe was never terminated due to strikes in 28 combined pro-MMA and boxing matches. However, none of these fights encountered a living legend in Cyborg. Selection: Cyborg over TKO3

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