Credit to Arlene Blencowe, who proved willing and able to stand toe-to-toe with Cris Cyborg at Bellator 279.
It’s a tactic few have managed against the fearsome Brazilian champion, who has held gold in every major promotion to feature a women’s featherweight division. In the end, however, it was still Cyborg walking away with her hand raised after a five-round slugfest that left Blencowe bloodied.
“It’s never easy, every fight is not easy, but I’ve been working, [showing] a lot of patience, seeing everything,” Cyborg told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight, which capped off the night in Honolulu, Hawaii. “Seeing the opportunities in the fight.”
Cyborg (26-2, 1NC) gave a little shout-out to her opponent during her post-fight interview with the assembled media online and in person. “Arelene, congrats for her. She did a good fight, she really showed she was really tough over there, and it was a good fight.”
Now, after shying away from the question all week, Cyborg can turn her attention to what’s next. She’s begun to lap the 145 pound division in Bellator, and while Sinead Kavanagh was originally announced as an opponent prior to the Blencowe rematch, there’s little hope that a second fight between the two would produce different results.
What fans want is something fresh, and it seems Cris Cyborg feels that way too. She’s looking to some of the biggest names inside and outside of Bellator MMA — and even outside of the sport.
“My next fight, I would like to do a boxing fight. This is one of my dreams, and maybe it’s going to be the next one. I’ve been working on it,” Cyborg revealed. “I don’t know. I don’t know who’s going to be next, who Bellator’s going to put in front of me. I don’t know. People calling me about Cat Zingano, asking about Amanda Nunes, Kayla Harrison, I’d like it to be the big shows for my fans, and [I want to] enjoy every time I step in the octagon.”
Asked if she’d been in discussions with Bellator about a foray into boxing, the featherweight champ replied “I’ve been talking to my manager about it, and he’s probably been talking to Bellator.”
Watch the full Bellator 279 post-fight press conference with Cris Cyborg above. More coverage can be found below.