Bellator 271: Sinead Kavanagh Accuses Champ Cyborg of “Mind Games”

Ireland’s Sinead Kavanagh is a clear underdog in her fight with Cris Cyborg atop the Bellator 271 card.

That said, if she’s intimidated at all by the legendary Brazilian fighter and women’s featherweight champ, however, Ireland’s Kavanagh (7-4) isn’t showing it.

“I’ve seen her, and I ain’t afraid,” Kavanagh said during Wednesday’s Bellator 271 media day. She’d go on to accuse the champ of playing some rather elaborate mind games.

“She’s over here playing mind games,” Kavanagh said, adding “you won’t even believe what they’re up to.”

There’s been video taped encounters with the champ, recalled Kavanagh. But it hasn’t stopped there. “She has these cards, these Squid Games card with her face on it, and she’s leaving them everywhere I go, leaving them in my corner, leaving them on my floor. She’s trying to play mind games, trying to break me, but she can’t. That’s what she does to her opponents.”

Rather than make Kavanagh uneasy, the tactics appear to have fired her up. Asked what she was able to take away from past Cyborg opponents, the Irish featherweight told Cageside Press it was “respect.”

“She gets too much in the cage. The cage is not to be giving respect, the cage is to fight,” she stated. “The cage is to leave my soul in there, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do Friday night.”

While some had expected Cyborg to face Cat Zingano next, the call for the title fight came as no surprise to Sinead Kavanagh. “I was next in line. I was next in line, and she was calling out other people. And she was saying the number ten girl to number one, is good enough to fight her, except number five. She’s not good enough. That’s the game she’s been playing.”

The #5 ranked Kavanagh was emotional when she got the call for the title fight, because, she said, it was well overdue. “It’s a roller coaster for me, and it’s finally happened, it’s finally here. I’m ready to get going now, I am.”

Watch the full Bellator 271 media day appearance by Sinead Kavanagh above. More coverage of the event can be found below.