Cris Cyborg to fight Leslie Smith in Bellator 259 title showdown next month in rematch five years in the making

CRIS CYBORG will defend her Bellator women's featherweight title in a rematch against Leslie Smith.

The Brazilian's second defence of the 145lb strap will serve as the main event of Bellator 259 on May 21.


Cyborg – real name Cristiane Justino – locked horns with Smith in her UFC debut five years ago.

The 34-year-old made light work of the American on home soil, knocking her out in just over 80 seconds to extend her unprecedented undefeated run.

But she insists their second meeting is by no means a foregone conclusion.

She said: "It's a [different] fight because it was a different chapter of my life.

"I was doing a catchweight when I was fighting at 140lbs.

"When you fight there for the first time, before the fight, you're really worrying about making weight.

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"For sure it's going to be different. We fought in front of 40,000 people [before], now it's going to be different.

"But I believe the first fight I was focused on making the weight. Now, it's going to be 100 per cent on the fight."

Cyborg is relishing her second clash with The Peacemaker, adding: "It'll be a great fight. I'll have the same mindset.

"It's going to be a great fight."

Cyborg claimed the women's featherweight title last January with a fourth-round TKO victory over Julia Budd at Bellator 238.

The Curitiba native made her first defence of the belt last October at Bellator 249, registering a second-round submission victory over Arlene Blencowe.

Smith's rematch with Cyborg will mark her fourth outing under the Bellator banner.

The 38-year-old was last in action last September at Bellator 245, defeating Amanda Bell via unanimous decision.

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