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Bellator 238 — Cyborg dominates Budd, wins FW title via fourth round TKO

Inglewood, Calif. — All eyes were firmly set on the Bellator debutant Cris “Cyborg” all the way through the build up to the fight against Julia Budd, and boy did she deliver. The Brazilian turned back the clock and put on one of the most dominant title fight displays on the way to claiming a championship belt in a fourth different organization via fourth round TKO.

Cyborg can now boast holding belts in Strikeforce, Invicta, UFC, and Bellator, but the style with which she captured the latter is what stood out the most. Cyborg’s shaky relationship with former boss, Dana White, was no secret, and it was also no secret that all the outside noises had impacted her performances inside the cage. On Saturday, inside a packed Forum in Inglewood, she was able to put all of that behind her. No more drama. No more uncertainties. And it showed. Cyborg could barely wipe the smile off her face, even during the fight. She was back to her old, focused and dangerous self.

 

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The 34-year-old was getting the better of the defending champ in all the striking exchanges and in the clinch. Budd was simply not able to impose herself on the Brazilian. Cyborg had too much of everything on the night. And there was certainly a little extra behind every strike she threw.

But Budd didn’t roll over. Far from it. She was in there until she had no more to give, proudly defending her throne, but you just had to have the feeling while watching along that there was no way Cyborg was walking out of that cage without the belt on her shoulder. She was relentless. She was violent. That fight was her bread and butter. It was another glimpse at what she has been doing so consistently for over a decade.

The manner in which Cyborg put Budd away was vicious. You could see all of the pent up anger unloading and connecting with Budd’s every limb. It was an avalanche of strikes. Combination after combination ended by a leg kick which grounded Budd for good. Cyborg also dropped to the ground herself moments after the stoppage, but hers was a fall of relief. A moment of euphoria as she looked up to the rafters where a banner of her with the belt will soon be hanging among all the other champions.

In her post-fight media obligations, Cyborg said that her only goal when starting out in MMA was to show that the ladies can fight just like the men. “We can be tough. We can be violent. We can fight like them. My dream was only to make good on that,” a jubilant Cyborg said. It’s safe to say that her mission has been accomplished. Cyborg’s fights epitomize violence, win, lose, or draw. And it was fitting that her return to glory and the never say die attitude were on show just outside of Hollywood. The very arena in which she lost her belt to Amanda Nunes just 13 months ago played host to her return to the summit.

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Sports journalist based in CA, USA. Twitter: @ArionArmeniakos

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