After a seven-fight stint in the UFC, Cris Cyborg will now call Bellator her home. The deal was announced by Bellator promoter Scott Coker on Monday afternoon via Twitter. The tweet included a video from Cyborg, who said at the end “I just want to say Cyborg Nation, welcome to Bellator!”
Shortly after the news broke, Scott Coker hopped on ESPN podcast “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show,” touting the importance of the deal. “I think we have the biggest contract put together in the history of women’s MMA… We all know what the value of Cyborg is and I think we represent it in our deal.” The fight was announced as a multi-year and multi-fight deal.
When asked about how Cyborg was treated in the UFC, Coker said “I don’t think the UFC knew what to do with her. They’re not in the 145 pound weight class business.” Bellator’s current female Featherweight Champion is Julia Budd, a 15 fight veteran who has spent just under half of her career within Bellator.
Bellator’s first Women’s Featherweight Championship fight took place in March 2017, a month after UFC declared their first champ. The current UFC Featherweight Champion is Amanda Nunes, who defeated Cyborg for the belt in December of 2018.
The partnership won’t be the first time that Cris Cyborg has worked with Scott Coker. The Brazilian fighter had a five-fight run earlier in her career in Strikeforce, who was managed by Coker at the time.
Bellator currently has nine events scheduled in 2019, including a big upcoming event on September 28th, with Patricio Freire putting his Featherweight Championship on the line against Juan Archuleta at The Forum in Inglewood, California.