Bellator MMA is officially targeting a fight with Australian contender Arlene Blencowe as the first title defense for new featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
Per Amy Kaplan of Fansided, Bellator is targeting a fight between new featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino and former title challenger Arlene Blencowe sometime later this year. Per the report, both sides have signed bout agreements but the date is still TBD.
Cris “Cyborg” (22-2) most recently competed in January where she unseated longtime Bellator champion Julia Budd by fourth round TKO. With the victory, Justino completed the one of a kind feat of having claimed titles in the UFC, Bellator, Strikeforce, and Invicta. Since the fight, rumors have swirled about where Justino would turn her sights towards next with Blencowe, Cat Zingano, and even boxing bouts with Clarissa Shields and Cecilia Braekhus all being mentioned.
Arlene Blencowe (13-7) has long been considered the top female featherweight in Bellator behind the champion with her only losses since 2016 having come to former champion Budd. Fighting out of Australia, Blencowe is on a three fight win-streak with victories over Amanda Bell, Amber Leibrock, and Leslie Smith.
As action has resumed for Bellator amidst the pandemic, the promotion has set gears in motion with several featherweight contenders being scheduled with Cat Zingano, Leslie Smith, and Julia Budd all in action within a month. There is currently no date set for the bout although it is expected to take place in 2020.