Two of the most tenured veterans in women’s MMA faced off in the co-main event of Bellator 300 from San Diego, California as Cris Cyborg successfully defended her featherweight title against ‘Alpha’ Cat Zingano, winning by TKO in the first round.
Zingano was trying to become only the third person to beat Cyborg in MMA as she brought a four-fight unbeaten streak in Bellator into the fight. Cris also came in undefeated in Bellator at 5-0, with five championship bout victories to her name since signing with the promotion in 2020.
Zingano came out southpaw and shot a takedown on an orthodox Cyborg, who hit the mat initially but instantly scrambled back up and checked Cat’s chin. Cat tried to clinch up a few more times but each time Cyborg broke free while throwing big hooks. One takedown attempt two minutes in saw Zingano with her head on the mat, allowing Cyborg to slam in ground and pound. It looked potentially fight-ending for a moment but Cat scrambled to her feet.
Cyborg had several more big punches land to the chin of the challenger in the first round; Zingano was almost completely unable to touch her. With just over a minute left in the round Cat tried another poorly advised takedown and ended up on the bottom with Cyborg postured up in side control. The champion rained down hammerfists and it was only a few seconds before the referee had seen enough.
After the fight, Cris tried to go over to Zingano to make nice but Cat appeared to not be having it, responding bitterly, though her exact words were not audible on the broadcast. Cyborg then went to get her belt wrapped around her waist for a sixth time in a row.
In her post-fight interview, Cris expressed her desire to fight Leah McCourt, who had beaten Sara McMann earlier in the night by TKO. Cyborg also said she wants to fight in Japan before she retires, which must be coming soon at age 38. Regardless, fans must appreciate this MMA legend while she is still around.
Official Result: Cris Cyborg def. Cat Zingano by TKO (ground and pound) Round 1, 4:01