Cris Cyborg will be getting a Bellator MMA title shot right away, as her debut fight in the organization will be a women’s featherweight title fight against champion Julia Budd.
During Bellator 226, Cyborg was introduced to the Bellator fans as the organization’s newest fighter, days after she signed what is being called the biggest contract in women’s MMA history.
We are thrilled to welcome @criscyborg and the #CyborgNation to the Bellator family.
Hear what she has to say tonight at #Bellator226 about joining our women's featherweight division! pic.twitter.com/jDquxXrO1C
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) September 8, 2019
During Cyborg’s welcome from Bellator color commentator “Big” John McCarthy, McCarthy announced that Cyborg’s first fight will see her face Budd in an attempt to become the first female fighter to win championships across four major MMA promotions.
Cyborg defeated Gina Carano in 2009 to win the Strikeforce women’s featherweight title, Marloes Coenen in 2013 to win the Invicta featherweight title and Tonya Evinger at UFC 214 in July 2017 to win the UFC women’s featherweight title.
Cyborg made two defenses of the Strikeforce belt before failing a drug test following her third attempt. She defended the Invicta title three times before signing with the UFC. She defended the UFC belt against Holly Holm and Yana Kunitskaya before losing to Amanda Nunes at UFC 232. The loss to Nunes intensified her sour relationship with the UFC that resulted in Cyborg leaving the promotion.
Budd defeated Coenen at Bellator 174 in March 2017 to become the inaugural Bellator women’s featherweight champion. She’s 7-0 in Bellator, including three successful title defenses. In fact, the only two women Budd has lost to in her career are current UFC champ-champ Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey.