Bellator has announced that Cris Cyborg, the undisputed featherweight champion, has signed a multi-fight contract with the promotion. Cyborg has remained with Bellator since January 2020 and has recently re-signed after concluding her previous contract in April 2022, according to a press statement issued by Bellator.
Cyborg has publicly stated that she is delighted to have come to terms with Bellator and plans to remain the face of the women’s featherweight division. She also hinted at taking on the highly-regarded top contender, Cat Zingano, in a potential match.
Cyborg has won all of her five bouts in the Bellator cage, each of which was a championship fight. She was awarded the featherweight title after defeating Julia Budd at Bellator 238 and subsequently defended the belt on four occasions, most recently against Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 279. Before joining Bellator, Cyborg held championship tenures in the UFC, Invicta FC, and Strikeforce.
In the press release, Cyborg praised promoter Scott Coker for playing a significant role in advancing women’s MMA and giving female fighters a chance to show off their abilities. She remarked that it was critical for her to sign with an organization that had the top talent and big names to challenge herself against. Cyborg expressed her eagerness to return to the Bellator cage and defend her championship belt.
The announcement did not reveal the number of fights that Cyborg has agreed to participate in, nor who her first opponent will be. However, Zingano, who won her first four Bellator fights, and Sara McMann, who had a successful Bellator debut in April with a split decision win over Blencowe, are both viable contenders. Both fighters previously challenged for the UFC’s bantamweight title.
Cyborg engaged in two boxing fights during her time as a free agent, defeating Simone Silva by decision in September of last year and following it up with a win over Gabrielle Holloway the next month.