Bellator Planning Featherweight Title Between Cris Cyborg, Cat Zingano Next

    ByRoss Markey

    Jan 3, 2022

    Bellator MMA president, Scott Coker has confirmed the organization are inclined to put together an undisputed featherweight championship fight between reigning champion, Cris Cyborg, and the surging #2 ranked contender, Cat Zingano for the Brazilian’s next attempted title defense later this year.

    Cyborg, who last featured in November, stopped Dublin challenger, Sinead Kavanagh with a one-sided opening round knockout victory to successfully lodge the third defense of her featherweight crown.

    For Zingano, the veteran UFC alum has made a bright start to her tenure under the Coker-led banner, scoring a pair of victories over both Gabby Holloway, and Olivia Parker – the second of which via a first round armbar last April. 

    Whilst not officially booked at the time of publication, Bellator leader, Coker confirmed to MMA Junkie that the next logical step to work toward is a featherweight title fight between Cyborg and Zingano for this year.

    Cat (Zingano) has reached out and wants to fight (Cris) Cyborg, so I think our inclination is to put that fight together,” Coker said. “We’re going to have multiple fights [events] in February and multiple fights in March and multiple fights in April and multiple fights in May. We’re going to start lining these big fights up and start knocking them off.” 

    Rekindling her working relationship with Coker back in January 2020, Cyborg, a former undisputed UFC, Strikeforce, and Invicta FC featherweight champion, clinched the undisputed title in her promotional bow against Julia Budd at Bellator 238.

    In a trio of successful title defenses since, Cyborg has defeated the trio of Arlene Blencowe, two-time foe, Leslie Smith, as well as her aforenoted November stoppage of Kavanagh.

    Zingano, a one-time undisputed UFC bantamweight championship challenger, boasts a 12-4 professional record, and has competed at the featherweight limit twice in her professional career. 

    Throughout her storied professional run, the 39-year-old has defeated the likes of Barb Honchak, Raquel Pennington, Marion Reneau, as well as former undisputed UFC bantamweight champions, Miesha Tate, and Amanda Nunes.