Cris “Cyborg” capped off Bellator 249 on Thursday with the first submission victory in her fifteen-year career submitting Arlene Blencowe.
In her first featherweight title defense, Cyborg dominated Blencowe in the opening round of their championship fight with many seeing it as a 10-8 round for the defending champion. In the second round, Cyborg was able to take control of Blencowe’s back, flattening her and securing the fight-ending rear-naked choke at 2:36 of the round.
Cris Cyborg gets her 1st career submission and the win!
She DEFENDS her title!@criscyborg | @BellatorMMA pic.twitter.com/jpoBMsjvqW
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 16, 2020
Cyborg became the Bellator women’s featherweight champion this past January, defeating Julia Budd in her promotional debut after leaving the UFC.
Blencowe, 37, was challenging for the Bellator 145-pound championship for the second time in her career having a 2017 loss to Julia Budd prior to tonight’s fight. Blencowe rebounded from the Budd loss, winning her next three fights to earn this title fight.
The Bellator 249 card lost its co-feature earlier in the day when Patricky “Pitbull” Freire was removed from his lightweight fight against Jaleel Willis due to an undisclosed medical issue. MMA Junkie reported that both fighters will be compensated for the canceled fight.
The main card also featured Leandro Higo submitting Ricky Bandejas with a rear-naked choke at 2:32 of the second round. Higo missed weight by three pounds and forced the fight to be contested at a catchweight of 139 pounds. It was Higo’s second consecutive win after back-to-back losses to Darrion Caldwell and Aaron Pico in 2018.
Heavyweights Steve Mowry and Shawn Teed were moved up to the main card and it was a short night for Mowry, who stopped Teed in 4:22 with the TKO victory.
The main card got off to a disappointing start when an accidental groin strike ended the lightweight fight prematurely between Saad Awad and Mandel Nello at 1:44 of the opening round resulting in a no contest.
Here are the results from the Bellator 249 card:
*Cris Cyborg def. Arlene Blencowe by rear-naked choke at 2:36 of Round 2 to retain the Bellator women’s featherweight title
*Leandro Higo def. Ricky Bandejas by rear-naked choke at 2:32 of Round 2
*Steve Mowry def. Shawn Teed by TKO at 4:22 of Round 1
*Saad Awad vs. Mandel Nello ended in a no contest (accidental groin strike) at 1:44 of Round 1
*Andrew Kapal def. Joseph Creer by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 2
*Kamran Lachinov def. Kyle Crutchmer by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Christian Edwards def. Hamza Salim by rear-naked choke at 1:28 of Round 2
*Da’Mon Blackshear def. Mike Kimbel by rear-naked choke at 4:14 of Round 2
*Aviv Gozali def. Logan Neal by kimura at 3:22 of Round 1
*Albert Gonzalez def. Kastriot Xhema by TKO at 5:00 of Round 2