Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino wins first entry in Bellator 249 Main Event


Cristiane Justino is still the Bellator MMA Women’s Featherweight Champion and earned her first submission victory in the process. “Cyborg” put the title she won to Julia Budd on the line against challenger Arlene Blencowe. Justino (23-2, 1 NC) took his opponent halfway through the first round and easily won the mount. After making the transition to the back, the Brazilian was able to unleash some powerful punches. The tough challenger survived the first round, but he set the pace for the fight, with justino opening the second set bloody Blencowe (13-8) on the feet with an incredible flurry of punches and then knocking his opponent down. . Heavy rim shots forced the Australian to give up her back and ‘Cyborg’ locked himself in a bare rear choke at 2:36 of the round. This marks the champion’s first submission victory.

Aside from the main event, there was late drama at Bellator 249. The co-main event scheduled between Patricky Freire and Jaleel Willis was dropped by the Mohegan Sun Commission, which did not medically clear “Pitbull”. to fight. By Sherdog’s own Keith Shillan, Bellator will compensate both fighters despite the late cancellation. The withdrawal saw Ricky Bandejas against Leandro Higo rise to the place of the co-main event as a result.

It was the grappling of Higo (20-5) that turned out to be the difference against Bandejas (13-5), the Brazilian easily controlling his enemy on the ground. Higo beat the American early in the second inning and took the back, where he encased a bare rear choke that forced a tap at 2:32. While this is a dominant win for Higo, it comes with an asterisk as the fighter missed weight by three pounds.

Heavyweights Steve Mowry and Shawn Teed threw down in their fight, which was high from prelims to the main card. Mowry (8-0) repeatedly scored Teed (6-3-1) with knees in the first round and had a clear hitting advantage from the start. A big knee in the middle would end Teed’s night at 4:22 of the first round.

The main card opener saw lightweight Saad Awad and Mandel Nallo face off. Unfortunately, the fight never started at full speed as Nallo (7-1-1, 1 NC) accidentally knelt Awad (23-13-1, 1 NC) in the groin, which prevented the veteran of the Bellator to continue. The bout was called off and declared a no-contest at 1:44 of the first round.

In preliminary action, Andrew Kapel (16-7) was awarded a doctor’s stop at the end of the second round due to a cut suffered by Joseph Creer (7-2-1); Kemran Lachinov (10-2) won a controversial and hard-fought unanimous decision over Kyle Crutchmer (6-1) with 29-28 scorecards across the board; Christian Edwards (4-0) ground play was too much for Hamza Salim (5-4), who hit a back choke at 1:28 in the second round; Da’Mon Blackshear (8-3) hit Mike Kimbel (3-3) with a bare back choke 4:14 in the second inning; Aviv Gozali (5-0) went undefeated as he subdued Logan Neal (1-1) in just 3:22 with a kimura; and despite a dislocated arm, Albert Gonzales (2-2) beat Kastriot Xhema (3-5, 1 NC) by abandonment after two rounds of action.



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