Bellator featherweight champ Cris Cyborg threw her team’s gameplan out the window and decided to slug it out with boxer Sinead Kavanagh, slinging leather until she found Kavanagh’s chin and ended the fight in Bellator 271’s headliner.
Kavanagh also found Cyborg’s chin with a left hook. But Cyborg’s right hand was just a little more accurate and knocked out the Irish native at the 1:32 mark of the opening frame at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
“I didn’t do anything my team planned, so sorry,” Cyborg said afterward. “But I feel great about it.”
Check out the finish below.
.@CrisCyborg leaves no doubt as to her championship status.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) November 13, 2021
Afterward, Cyborg said she asked to face Cat Zingano in her next title defense, but welcomed any fight offered by her promoter. As it happened, one intriguing option sat cageside in two-time PFL champ Kayla Harrison, who entered free agency with her latest tournament win.
“Kayla, thank you for coming to the fights,” Cyborg said. “I really appreciate you here. If you want to fight me one day, it’s going to be a great fight, but [Harrison manager] Ali Abdelaziz have to talk to all the promotions to make this happen.”
Cyborg has now defended her title three times after dethroning Julia Budd in her Bellator debut. Kavanagh sees a two-fight winning streak snapped.