Cris Cyborg to fight for Bellator featherweight title in promotional debut

It's official: Cris Cyborg's first fight in Bellator will be against reigning featherweight queen in Los Angeles

There was much speculation surrounding who Cris “Cyborg” Justinho’s first opponent would be, since the former UFC champ signed with Bellator. While many thought that an immediate title fight was reasonable, it wasn’t certain. Now it seems those speculations were correct. Last Friday The Los Angeles Times reported that Cyborg will face reigning Bellator featherweight champ Julia Budd at Bellator event in Los Angeles, January 25th. Bellator later confirmed the reports.


Cyborg and the UFC parted ways after years of a contentious relationship, with both sides citing faults with the other. She left the UFC with a 6-1 record, including two featherweight title defences. During her time in the UFC she defeated the likes of Lina Länsberg, Holly Holm and Felicia Spencer. Her lone loss came in an upset knockout to now double champ Amanda Nunes.

Budd is undefeated in Bellator with seven straight wins. She defeated Marloes Coenen via fourth round TKO to win the title, and has defended her belt three times so far. Most recently she TKO’d Olga Rubin in the first round at Bellator 224.

Who walks away with the Bellator featherweight title: Cris Cyborg or Julia Budd? 

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for