Cris "Cyborg" Justino made history In Los Angeles, CA, Saturday night, defeating champion Julia Budd by fourth round TKO to become the Bellator women's featherweight champion.
She now has won titles in the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, and Invicta, all at 145 pounds.
Justino turned it on in the fourth round, unleashing a barrage of fists and knees on Budd without an answer, resulting in referee Mike Beltran calling the fight.
Up until that point, Cyborg (22-2-0-1) hadn't done anything outstanding in terms of nearly finishing the fight, but did enough in the clinch, up against the fence, and on the mat to earn herself the rounds she needed. Budd was in the fight the entire time, but couldn't answer Cyborg's pressure, nor had any effective offensive to put Cyborg on the defensive.
The 36-year-old Budd (13-3) was the company's first women's featherweight champion, having won the title in March 2017. Since then, she has fought sparingly but did have three successful title defenses. In a unique fact, all four of her title fights before tonight were in Thackerville, Oklahoma. She went into the fight on an 11-fight win streak dating back to 2012.
This was Justino's Bellator debut after a multi-year run in the UFC. They chose not to resign her after her deal ran out in 2019.
In other results:
- The Bellator featherweight Grand Prix rolled along with Darrion Caldwell advancing in the tournament with a quick and impressive first round submission win over the very tough and previously unbeaten Adam Borics. Caldwell got inside early and controlled Borics with elbows and fists while on his back, sinking in a rear naked choke for the tap and win. The former Bellator bantamweight champion will now face A.J. McKee in the tournament semifinals.
- Sergio Pettis made his promotional debut after a long run in the UFC, submitting Alfred Khashkyan in the first round in a bantamweight fight.
- Dave Meltzer favorite and once uber prospect Aaron Pico was purposefully placed on the undercard and showed out nicely with a second round knockout win over Daniel Carey.
- Also on the undercard, former UFC fighter Curtis Millender made his Bellator debut and picked up a win over Moses Murrietta by unanimous decision...BJJ ace A.J. Agazarm picked up a third round submission win over Adel Altamimi.