Bellator 259 wasn’t the first time Cris Cyborg and Leslie Smith fought.
Bellator 259 will see a sequel to a fight no one really was really expecting. In the main event of Bellator 259, fans will see Cris Cyborg and Leslie Smith do battle for the Bellator’s women’s featherweight title. This isn’t the first time the two have fought, obviously, but if anyone is expecting Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez-levels of excitement, maybe hold that thought.
The first time the two fought was back in the UFC. It was at UFC 198, in Brazil, with Brazilian’s littering the card; including the then-UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum taking on Stipe Miocic for the title. Cyborg and Smith fought right before the semi-main and didn’t waste time.
The fight was over relatively fast, with Cyborg TKO’ing Smith in just one minute and 21 seconds into the first round..
The main event was the real show-stealer, with Miocic winning the UFC heavyweight title and starting his record-setting run as champion.
What happened next.
After the fast loss to Cyborg, Smith rebounded with two wins over Irene Aldana and Amanda Lemos. This led to a bout in 2018 against then-undefeated fighter Aspen Ladd. Ladd couldn’t make weight and Smith refused to do a catchweight fight. Smith was paid the money owed to her for the fight that never happened and then was cut by the UFC.
Since then shes’ joined Bellator and is 2-1 in the promotion. Since the last Cyborg fight, she’s 4-1 and really showing something. That said, Cyborg has been called the Mike Tyson of WMMA, and that’s not entirely wrong. Of Cyborg’s 23 wins, 18 have been by KO/TKO.
To say that Smith is an underdog in the rematch is truly and completely underselling the expectations of this fight.