“Heaps different” is how Arlene Blencowe describes the feeling ahead of her second fight with Cris Cyborg, in comparison to their first match-up.
Speaking at this week’s Bellator 279 media day, Australia’s Blencowe added that “I feel like I’m ready. Even the fact that I’ve stepped across the cage from her, I know what I’m in for this time. I know the power that she brings. I know the intensity that she brings. So yeah, ready to do round two and get my hand raised.”
Blencowe has won both of her fights since the pair’s first meeting, and remains the #1 contender in the women’s featherweight division. Still, she’s admitted in the past that she didn’t expect the rematch so soon. And she remains a big underdog in the fight. Not that she minds it — she needed only to point to a very recent example that underdogs can overcome massive odds.
“If anyone’s an MMA fan, history has just shown recently that major upsets are quite doable, they’re achievable,” observed Blencowe. “No would have thought [Julianna] Pena would have beaten Nunes. She was a major underdog too, and look what she came out and did, she shocked the world. As an Australian, we love being an underdog. There’s been big fights in history— I’ve got teammates that have shocked the world, so I’m ready to do that. I let a moment slip by in 2020 when I had the first opportunity, and I’m grateful that I’ve got the second opportunity to go in there and just get the job done.”
Of course, Blencowe will need to adjust her game plan from the first Cyborg fight. And she believes she knows the key to success. “I really do just have to be ‘Angerfist‘ and do what I do to my other opponents. Whenever I face somebody that’s ranked lower than me, I go out there and I’m aggressive because I want to cement my No. 1 ranking.”
She’ll try to do the same against Cris Cyborg atop Bellator 279 this Saturday night.
Watch the full Bellator 279 media day appearance from Arlene Blencowe above. More coverage can be found below.