Cris Cyborg stopped Julia Budd in the fourth round with strikes, becoming the new Bellator Featherweight Champion at Bellator 238, from The Forum in Inglewood, California, USA.
After three dominant rounds, Cyborg upped the intensity at the start of the fourth round, scoring head and body strikes which overwhelmed Budd. After Budd was dropped by strikes, referee Mike Beltran stepped in to end the fight.
The fight was the Bellator debut for the Brazilian fighter.
Cyborg fought in the UFC from 2016 to 2019, being the UFC Featherweight Champion for four fights, losing her belt to Amanda Nunes in late 2018.
Coincidentally, her loss to Nunes also came at the venue of Saturday’s Bellator event.
“This is new era. I am very happy to be Bellator champion,” said Cyborg after the fight.
Budd had defended her Bellator Featherweight Championship three times before losing it on Saturday.
“I’m so disappointed … It’s hard,” reflected Budd after the fight.
In the co-main event of the show, Darrion Caldwell stopped Adam Borics within a round, advancing to the semi-finals of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix.
Bellator returns with a back-to-back weekend of events on February 21st and 22nd.