Sinead Kavanagh’s Plan for Bellator Dublin: “Beat Arlene,” “Call Out Cyborg”

After a March date with Leah McCourt fell through, Sinead Kavanagh has been booked against Arlene Blencowe at Bellator Dublin this Saturday, the third event for the promotion since being acquired by the Professional Fighters League late last year.

Ahead of her first fight of 2024, Kavanagh told Cageside Press that following the McCourt fight calling through, “I took a few weeks off, and then I got back to it. The fight in March, I thought it wasn’t going to happen anyway. I didn’t think she was going to fight me again after that performance I did the first time. I literally left her on one leg.”

Sinead Kavanagh is no stranger to rematches. She fought Janay Harding twice. McCourt would have been a rematch. Now, the Irish featherweight has gone from McCourt, to Arlene Blencowe, a multi-time Bellator MMA title challenger who she first faced in 2017, losing a split decision. In many ways, the fight may be an upgrade, given the number of times Australia’s Blencowe has challenged for Bellator gold.

“She’s fought for the title four times, fought Cyborg twice, went five rounds with Cyborg. She is not an easy opponent,” noted Kavanagh (Blencowe has technically challenged for gold in the promotion three times, and won a regional title outside it). “If I can do this, and I win here, and I know I can do this, I’m straight here to the title. I knocked Leah off, even though she didn’t deserve to fight for the title, because she lost against me, she lost against Cat [Zingano]. So yeah, I’m back up there for the title.”

“We fought in 2017, me and Arlene did, and it went to a split decision loss. I did think I won that fight. I was not so lucky on one of the judges’ cards, but did think I won that. I think the both of us have improved since that. I think we’re one of the best in that division, the two of us are. She’s tough, she’s like me, I’m tough. We can throw down, and I think she has come a long way from where she started, and me also. So I’m really looking forward to this one.”

Kavanagh believes that ultimately, a win over Blencowe will land her a much-desired rematch with featherweight champ Cris Cyborg.

“Who else is better to beat Arlene and get the title shot? I think that’s the way it goes here. Beat Arelene, and go for the title shot. I will call out Cyborg, and I want that rematch for sure. I think ‘KO’ deserves another chance at the title shot.”

As for how long she might have to sit, with Cyborg expected to face Larissa Pacheco next, Kavanagh suggested she’s willing to wait. “[Cyborg]’s the biggest name in MMA. She’s a monster. Yeah, I do want that, and I will wait around. [Michael] Chandler can wait two years, I’m sure I can wait a few months.”

Let’s hope Kavanagh doesn’t go through the roller coaster Chandler has with Conor McGregor.

Watch our full interview with Bellator Dublin’s Sinead Kavanagh above.