Cyborg is back to defend her featherweight strap against a familiar foe. Cris Cyborg vs Leslie Smith is a rematch five years in the making. “The Peacemaker” will look to get revenge by defeating the world champion. Cyborg defeated Smith in 2016 by a first-round TKO but this time around both women have a wider arsenal to show off, making this matchup very intriguing. Let’s discuss the techniques and abilities possessed by both women and how they can use them heading into this championship bout.
A Look at the Fighters
Cris Cyborg is one of the most dominant women to ever compete in the sport of mixed martial arts. She won the Bellator featherweight strap on her promotional debut and will look to make her second title defence since joining. Cyborg has defeated Smith before, this time round she has many more threats to pose for the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt. Ferocious power has paved the way for Cyborg’s amazing career. However, she has expanded her arsenal, with her last performance being a submission win via a rear-naked choke.
Leslie Smith has had many ups and downs in her career and is a huge underdog heading into this rematch. Smith won her last fight against Amanda Bell by unanimous decision. However, although she has fought five times since her initial bout against Cyborg, she hasn’t made many adjustments on the feet. Smith struggles to keep her head off the centre line. She has crisp boxing and powerful hooks but she struggles with setting them up.
Cris Cyborg vs Leslie Smith puts two willing brawlers back in the cage together after years of potential improvements. Cyborg looks to bring the fight to Smith, which could benefit her as her counter strikes almost always hit. The former UFC champion throws haymakers early on and slowly becomes more calculated as the finish gets closer. She will be looking to really display her power once again heading into this fight.
Cris Cyborg vs Leslie Smith Breakdown
With such a dominant athlete holding the crown, it is almost impossible to imagine her losing to an opponent she has already impressively beat. The brawling style can be brought out in both of these women and there are some benefits that hold for Smith. However, as the scent of blood enters Cyborg’s nose, she will become much more calculated and start timing her strikes perfectly.
Smith has a good ground game but she really shouldn’t try against someone like Cyborg. The champion has amazing jiu-jitsu defence and can snatch a submission almost out of nowhere. It is likely that Smith won’t go to the ground in this bout, so how can she win? Counter strikes are the perfect recipe for the contender. As previously mentioned, Cyborg loves to throw haymakers but she might be forced to pay for that. If a shot can get through the champion’s guard, then it could just be goodnight for Cyborg.
With not much left for the Brazilian to conquer, this Cris Cyborg vs Leslie Smith fight gives both women something huge to accomplish. Smith can prove that she is worthy of being a champion, while the champion can retain her crown and possibly retire as one of the most dominant athletes on the planet.
Be sure to watch Cris Cyborg vs Leslie Smith at Bellator 259 on Friday 21st of May.
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