Bellator 249 is in the books, and not only is Cris Cyborg still the Bellator women’s featherweight champion, this time her customary finish was not a knockout.
For the first time in her illustrious career, the Brazilian striker used her submission skills to win a pro MMA bout. Arlene Blencowe may still be able to say that no one has knocked her out in MMA or boxing, but she was overmatched on the feet, even more overmatched on the ground, and tapped to a rear-naked choke midway through round two. This was Cyborg’s first defense of her title after dethroning previous champ Julia Budd at the start of 2020.
Watch the finish below.
In the co-main event, Leandro Higo may have missed the bantamweight limit but he was spectacular against Ricky Bandejas. Higo dominated Bandejas on the ground throughout the opening frame, including some heavy punches and multiple submission attempts as the final seconds of round one drew to a close. In round two, Higo would not be denied the finish as he locked in a rear-naked choke that led to a quick tap for Bandejas.
Moved up from the prelims to the main card following the cancellation of Patricky Freire vs. Jaleel Willis, heavyweight Steve Mowry made the most of the bigger spotlight by decking Shawn Teed with a knee. Mike Goldberg shouted “IT IS ALL OVER!” except it wasn’t… and then Mowry threw a few punches and it was indeed all over.
Lastly… how can you not feel sorry for Saad Awad? Mandel Nallo kneed him in the groin barely under two minutes into the main card opener. The fight would not continue and a no-contest was ruled. Awad was in serious pain and reduced to tears while on the ground in agony. No need for a GIF, for this will suffice.
Main Card results
Cris Cyborg defeated Arlene Blencowe via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:36 of Round 2
Leandro Higo defeated Ricky Bandejas via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:32 of Round 2
Steve Mowry defeated Shawn Teed via TKO (knee and punches) at 4:22 of Round 1
Saad Awad and Mandel Nallo fight to a No Contest at 1:44 of Round 1
Preliminary Card results
Andrew Kapel defeated Joseph Creer via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of RD2
Kemran Lachinov defeated Kyle Crutchmer via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Christian Edwards defeated Hamza Salim via submission (RNC) at 1:28 of RD2
Da’Mon Blackshear defeated Mike Kimbel via submission (RNC) at 4:14 of RD2
Aviv Gozali defeated Logan Neal via submission (kimura) at 3:22 of RD1
Albert Gonzales defeated Kastriot Xhema via TKO (retirement) at 5:00 RD2