Despite coming up short against Cris Cyborg in their women’s featherweight title fight last year, Ireland’s Sinead Kavanagh is once again the number one contender. Next in line for the title shot.
That puzzling announcement came following Kavanagh’s win over Leah McCourt at Bellator 275 on Friday. Despite literally limping out of the cage due to a knee injury sustained early in the fight, the promotion intends to push forward with Kavanagh as the next title challenger — even though Cyborg has not defended her title since the pair’s first meeting.
“We announced the fight, and I talked to John [Kavanagh, coach] and I said ‘Let’s see how the injury comes out,’ but she will be next in line,” Bellator President Scott Coker confirmed following the fight. “And if she’s willing to do it and able to do it and physically able to do it, then we’ll put it together. Where? It’s probably going to be in America somewhere, to be honest. But you never know with this sport, what happens, and it could extend to the next time we come back [to Dublin]. But we would love to put that fight together if she’s able to do it.”
As for when Bellator will be back to Dublin, Coker stated that it would be “before the end of the year for sure. We have a couple of dates here, we’ll figure out the schedule, but I think sometime in the Fall.”
The booking of Cyborg vs. Kavanagh 2 caught nearly everyone off-guard, but comes in the wake of Cat Zingano being paired up with Pam Sorenson next. Most had anticipated a Cyborg vs. Zingano showdown next, as it’s essentially the biggest fight the promotion could make in the women’s featherweight division.
While Cyborg has claimed that Zingano turned the fight down, “Alpha” Cat recently went on record to state that Cyborg wanted to avoid drug testing for the fight.