Bellator 238 is on January 28, 2020 and will take place in The Forum in Inglewood, CA. A real potential gem we have coming to us is the Julia Budd vs Cris Cyborg matchup. This is a clash of two high-level women’s featherweights competing for the Bellator Women’s Featherweight World Title. They are equal in height and, at least at the weigh-in, weight. Then things get interesting, Budd has nothing to lose but the title, Cyborg may lose her legend status without a win.
Julia Budd is 13-2 and the current Bellator Women’s Featherweight Champion, making her fourth title defense. The 5’8 36-year-old Canadian is currently ranked #3 in the Unified Women’s MMA Ranking. Budd won the title March 3, 2017 with a 4th round TKO of Marloes Coenen, who retired after the loss. In fact, the champion has not had a loss since 2011, which was to Ronda Rousey. Her only other loss was in her second fight to current UFC champ-champ Amanda Nunes. Amanda had a significant experience advantage over Julia at the time of the fight nine years ago. Julia puts up her 11 fight win-streak against her most significant challenger to date for the title.
Cris Cyborg holds a record of 21-2-1 and is fresh off a unanimous decision win over Felica Spencer in July. One of the things Julia Budd and Cris Cyborg share is a defeat to Amanda Nunes. However, most would say that Cyborg’s loss on December of 2018 was a bit more impactful. Prior to that loss, Chris had not had a defeat since May of 2005 in her first pro fight. No other female competitor has been undefeated over that length of time. With the current experience level of women’s MMA, it will be surprising if we see that level of dominance again.
Cyborg’s loss to Amanda caused fans and media to begin to lose faith that Brazilian could return to her dominating form. Her victory over Felicia Spencer set a new tone and her exit from the UFC is allowing for new matchups. Cris is currently ranked 2nd in the Unified Women’s MMA Ranks, topped only by Amanda.
Bellator Women’s MMA fans have several matchups to look forward to no matter who the winner. Six of the top Featherweights in the top 10 are all in Bellator currently. Whomever has title after January 25th has several interesting matchup options for future opponents. With a win for Budd, she cements her place in MMA history in a way she can not any other way. With a Cyborg victory we have a truly dominating champion who only has one unreachable foe, for now, to avenge.
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