In a series of blockbuster announcements, Bellator president Scott Coker confirmed that current 145-pound world champion Cris Cyborg will defend her title against Ireland’s Sinead Kavanagh at Bellator 271.
It will be Cyborg’s third straight featherweight title defense when she takes on the fifth-ranked contender on November 12 in Florida.
Only the second Bellator woman’s featherweight champion in the company’s history, Cyborg (24-2, 1 NC) aims to further her legacy as the greatest women’s mixed martial artist of all time when she battles the pride of Dublin.
After previously holding gold in STRIKEFORCE, UFC and Invicta, the Brazilian native made history by capturing the Bellator title to become a ‘Grand Slam Champion’ with belts in four different organisations.
Kavanagh (7-4) gets her first opportunity at gold after back-to-back victories over Katharina Lehner and a TKO win over Olga Rubin.
Pitbull vacates lightweight title, brother Patricky will face Queally for championship
Former two-division champion Patricio “Pitbull” has made the decision to relinquish his Lightweight World Championship title.
Speaking to The MMA Hour, Coker announced that the hotly-anticipated rematch between Ireland’s Peter Queally (13-5-1) and Patricky “Pitbull” (23-10) will be elevated to the main event of Bellator 270 at the 3Arena in Dublin , with the vacated 155-pound world title on the line.
Honor and family come first. When I first won the LW belt it was just about revenge. It was still an honor, but with the loss at 145 I’m starting over. It’s time for the LW division to move on and for @PatrickyPitbull to have his shot. My focus is on AJ and him only. #TheMMAHour
— Patricio Pitbull (@PatricioPitbull) October 6, 2021
Patricio won the title back in 2019, defeating Michael Chandler with a stunning 61-second TKO. However, the 34-year-old could not defend the title because of his involvement in Bellator’s Featherweight Grand Prix. The tournament concluded with Patricio losing his 145-pound championship to unbeaten AJ McKee at Bellator 263.
“I lost the featherweight division,” Patricio told Ariel Helwani. “For me, it doesn’t make sense to be a champion in the lightweight division. If I lost at 145 pounds, I can’t be the champion at 155.”
The other side, I have my brother as No 1 contender. If he keeps winning, he’s going to fight for the belt and I’m not going to fight my brother.”
Bellator to move to five-round main events in 2022
Coker also announced that all Bellator non-title main events will now be moving to five rounds from 2022.
MMA fans and media questioned why the split-decision win by Michael ‘Venom’ Page’s over Douglas Lima at Wembley Arena last weekend didn’t go another 10 minutes, which seems to have caught the attention of the Bellator president.
“We’ve been talking about this for the last six to eight months,” said Coker. “We decided that starting January 1 that all the main events fights will be five rounds.
“When the fight happened with Yoel Romero I said, ‘I sure would have liked to have seen two more rounds of that fight’. Then with MVP, same thing. We needed to pull the trigger. So, starting January 1, it will happen.”