Cris Cyborg remains motionless inside the Bellator cage, but she had to work for it this time.
Saturday night at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Cyborg retained their featherweight title with a unanimous victory over Arlene Blencowe in the main event at Bellator 279. Just like in their first meeting at Bellator 249, Cyborg beat Blencowe all over the cage, but the featherweight champion was unable to to secure an end this time as he was hampered by Blencow’s sheer determination and toughness.
Early on, it looked like this would be a repeat of their first match as Cyborg dropped Blencowe in the first round, almost ending the match there before an illegal knee to Blencowe’s head caused a break in action and got referee Jason Herzog to subtract a point from. from Cyborg. The short respite allowed Blencowe to recover enough to make it out of the round.
Things got better for Blencowe from there, although Cyborg as in the second and third rounds seemed to be content with having almost exclusively a kickboxing match, and while Cyborg certainly landed more and landed the bigger shots, Blencowe also found a home to his right hand, even getting the champion out of balance on a few occasions.
In the championship rounds, Blencowe, with her face like a bloody mask at the time, continued to push the problem of Cyborg, creating exchanges and never going back. In the end, Blencowe was simply overmatched against the featherweight champion, but she gave a huge account of herself and became the first person to survive five rounds with Cyborg inside the Bellator cage. In the end, Cyborg won a clear unanimous decision and made his fourth defense of his featherweight title.
After the match, Cyborg Blencowe gave the credit for her toughness and then said she wants to pursue the biggest fights possible, whether it be Cat Zingano, Amanda Nunes or Kayla Harrison.
Stots amaze Archuleta for claiming temporary bantamweight title
In tonight’s co-main event, Raufeon Stots scored the biggest victory of his career, finishing former champion Juan Archuleta by claiming the temporary bantamweight title. After a competitive first two rounds in which Archuleta actually seemed to put down the two-time D-II National Champion, Archuleta appeared in a header from Stots just seconds into the third round that caused him to tumble to the canvas, where Stots quickly finished the job. It was the first stop loss in Archuleta’s career and the first knockout in Stots’ Bellator career.
The match was also the second quarter-final match in the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix, and as a result, Stots has secured his place in the semifinals, where he will face the winner of Leandro Higo vs. Danny Sabatello.
Kish disturbs Macfarlane
In what was undoubtedly the biggest surprise of the night, Justin Kish scored the biggest victory of his career by disturbing Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in front of the former flyweight champion’s own audience in his hometown. It was a rather lukewarm performance from both women as they only landed a total of 63 strikes between the two, but Kish simply did a little bit more than Macfarlane, scoring more takedowns and controlling position for most of the match. In the end, Kish won a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28. The loss is Macfarlane’s second in a row, while Kish moves to 1-1 inside the Bellator cage.
Mix out-grabs Horiguchi
In the first match of the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix, Patchy Mix started things off with a rebellion and won a clear unanimous decision over the one-time champion Kyoji Horiguchi. Mix was able to dominate large parts of the match with his grappling abilities, repeatedly taking his back and holding on to it in rounds at a time. Horiguchi was able to make it competitive in places, but he simply could not consistently escape from Mix. With the victory, Mix beat his ticket to the semifinals of the Grand Prix, where he will face the winner of Magomed Magomedov vs. Enrique Barzola.
Medeiros wins exciting scrap with Sanchez
Also on the main card, Yancy Medeiros made a successful Bellator debut, winning a fantastic scrap with Emmanuel Sanchez in the main card opening. For 15 minutes, Medeiros and Sanchez went toe-to-toe with Medeiros’ plug as the big difference in the match. Eventually, he took home the unanimous decision victory and drove the Hawaiian audience crazy.
Full Bellator 279 results
Cris Cyborg def. Arlene Blencowe by unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 49-45)
Raufeon Stots def. Juan Archuleta of TKO (knee and blow) at 0:16 of R3.
Justine Kish def. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane unanimously (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Patchy Mix def. Kyoji Horiguchi by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Yancy Medeiros def. Emmanuel Sanchez unanimously (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Goiti Yamauchi def. Levan Chokheli on submission (armbar) at 3:49 by R1.
Bobby King def. Keoni Diggs by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
Dayana Silva def. Janay Harding by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lance Gibson Jr. def. Nainoa Dung by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)
Justin Gonzales def. Kai Kamaka III by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)