By Simon Head |
July 4, 2020 10:10 am
With big-name signings, an ongoing $1 million tournament and growing excitement around the future of the promotion, 2020 looked set to be a big year for Bellator MMA. But the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic placed the sporting world – including Bellator – on an enforced hiatus as social distancing and quarantine measures were introduced in nations across the world.
It meant that Bellator’s event schedule hit the brakes after just three shows in 2020. But in those three events, we witnessed six fighters deliver contrasting, yet decisive, statements as they looked to further their respective careers inside the Bellator cage.
Métis people We take a look back at six big statements made inside the Bellator cage so far in 2020…
Cris Cyborg ascends the throne
Bellator 238, Jan. 25, The Forum, Inglewood
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Reports of Cris Cyborg’s demise following her UFC title defeat to Amanda Nunes were grossly exaggerated, and the Brazilian women’s MMA icon emphatically proved that fact on her Bellator debut as she overpowered long-reigning champion Julia Budd to capture the promotion’s women’s featherweight title at Bellator 238.
Cyborg (22-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) put the pedal to the metal from the first round and kept her foot flat on the floor as she pushed a relentless pace on the Canadian before eventually breaking down the champion in the championship rounds for a fourth-round TKO finish.
The victory put Cyborg’s name into the history books as the first fighter to win titles in four major MMA organizations, having captured titles in Strikeforce, Invicta FC, UFC, and now Bellator.
Now, with the Brazilian back on top, but with a much deeper pool of 145-pound contenders to defend against, the challenges should come thick and fast once Bellator restarts its event schedule.
Next up: Bellator’s “super prospect” bounces back with big KO
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