In Cris Cyborg's 23rd career win she turned back the clock. She trained for the first time in years with her original coach, "The Professor" Rafael Cordeiro. Cyborg was back to her old dominating self as she retained her Bellator Featherweight title against Arlene Blenchowe with her first career submission win.
Blencowe started the fight with a good game plan, taking control of the center of the cage and was looking to throw hands. The Australian two-time boxing champion got those strikes answered with an array of leg kicks by Cyborg.
Cris Cyborg pushed the pressure to the fence and clinched up as the pair engaged in dirty boxing. Cyborg was able to take Arlene Blencowe down to the mat, going right into side control. She cracked Blencowe with ground and pound and searched for submissions as well.
Blencowe spent most of the opening round trying to survive and get into Round Two.
The duo fired off a quick exchange as they pushed the fight pace in the second round. However, Cyborg applied immense pressure and forced Angerfist back up to the fence again.
There Cyborg teed off on her, making Blenchowe bleed through her nose with some heavy strikes. Cyborg once again brought the fight down to the ground, this time landing in mount.
As Blenchowe tried to escape, Cyborg was able to get the advantage as she was trying another submission attempt. This time she was successful as Cyborg locked in a Rear Naked Choke and forced her opponent to tap at 2:36 of Round Two.
In what was her first Bellator title defense, Cyborg landed 52 strikes, 12 kicks and had a pair of takedowns.
Arlene Blenchowe had come into her second title shot (the first was a loss to Julia Budd), looking better than ever. However, Cyborg was on a completely different level during the fight and sealed a dominant win.
Speaking to John McCarthy after the fight, Cris Cyborg refused to name any possible challengers to her title. Instead, the Women's Featherweight Champion simply put it all on Bellator President Scott Coker's lap.
Bellator 249 started off on a sour note but ends with Cris Cyborg''s first career submission win
The night started with Mike Mazzulli breaking news that the co-main event would be scratched due to Patricky Pitbull being too sick to fight. So Leandro Higo versus Ricky Bandejas was moved up.
However, Bellator fans would have been thrilled with Cris Cyborg's performance as she completely dominated Blenchowe on her way to retaining her title.