In a rematch of a 2018 meeting that ended early due to a cut, Sinead Kavanagh stood opposite the cage from Janay Harding once again on the Bellator 291 main card in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday.
Kavanagh had been victim to the aforementioned cut, meaning the pair had never got their round two — making their second contest an unofficial continuation of sorts. At the 3Arena, Kavanagh had home field advantage in her native Ireland — and made the most of it in the end.
The two combatants remained on their feet for the entirety of round one, engaging in numerous striking exchanges though with neither fighter landing anything of much significance.
Kavanagh found her range early into the second frame, dropping Harding momentarily before she eventually weathered the storm. Following a very close first round, Kavanagh took the second decisively.
Harding threw a wide array of kicks throughout the fight, though her improved striking was not enough to deter Kavanagh from taking care of unfinished business, winning the bout by unanimous decision.
What a meaningful win for Sinead Kavanagh!#Bellator291’s Main Card is LIVE on @showtime@BellatorMMA #Bellator @sineadkavanagh0 pic.twitter.com/ebN9VRftbk
— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) February 25, 2023
It’s back to the drawing board for Harding who falls to (6-7) with the loss, while Kavanagh moves to (9-5), cementing herself firmly in the mix for a potential title opportunity with Cris Cyborg.
Official Result: Sinead Kavanagh def. Janay Harding by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)