Los Angeles, CA — Bellator MMA women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg spoke to Cageside Press recently about her upcoming title defense against Arlene Blencowe.
She also touched on why the fight is against Blencowe, who she already has a win over, and not top contender “Alpha” Cat Zingano.
“I think she’s [Zingano] going to fight another person before me, I think she said she wants to fight one more fight,” Cyborg (25-2, 1NC) told us. “And let’s see. But I’m focused on Arlene Blencowe now.”
The champ may be focused on Blencowe, but there’s no question the fans wanted to see the popular Zingano, a former UFC bantamweight title challenger. Zingano was scheduled to face Pam Sorenson last month, but was forced out of the bout due to injury.
Another popular choice for Cyborg was Kayla Harrison, who Bellator did make a play for during her free agency. Ultimately, the Olympian re-signed with the Professional Fighters League.
“I think she made the choice for her. Maybe if the fight is one day going to happen, it’s going to happen. If she was in Bellator, for sure this would happen faster,” Cyborg said in regards to the lightweight star. “I don’t know if she’s in PFL, how it’s going to happen. But at the end of the day, we just have to see, keep training, see where the next opportunity [is].”
After years in the sport, Cyborg shed some light on what she does better in her training now than ever before.
“I think the process for mak[ing] weight. I think you learn more, I think you train smart, even though you’re getting old, you’re getting experience. I think you’re training better,” she told us. “The one thing, you have to be humble to learn. It doesn’t matter because you have experience, it doesn’t matter if you get old, because you know everything. You have to be humble yourself to learn everyday. This is my secret.”
When it comes time to step into the cage with Arlene Blencowe once more, it doesn’t matter to the champ if the fight goes long, or ends early.
“Every time I step in the cage, every time I’m training, I’m training for five rounds. I’m training for six actually,” she stated. “So if it happens that the fight finishes soon, okay. If not, okay. And I always respect my opponent too. Of course after a rematch, you’re not going to be the same person as before. You have to get better, improve your game, so it’s really gonna be a good fight.”
Bellator 279 takes place Saturday, April 23, 2022 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. Cris Cyborg faces Arlene Blencowe in the main event.