Leslie Smith Says Cris Cyborg Fight Will Be the Biggest Fight of the Year

Published 04/03/2021, 9:46 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 01: UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg of Brazil interacts with the media during the UFC 222 Ultimate Media Day at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on March 1, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Leslie Smith is all set to take on Cris Cyborg for the Bellator MMA women’s featherweight title, Smith will face Cyborg at Bellator 259 on May 21.

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This match will be the second title defense of Bellator featherweight champion Cyborg. Furthermore, it will be the second time that these two fighters will cross paths. They first faced each other at UFC 198 back in 2016.

Smith seems confident leading up to the fight. She feels the rematch with the champ will go in a different direction this time around.

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Leslie Smith talks about the match

Smith is 2-1 in Bellator MMA; Cyborg is 2-0. Though Smith knows how big of a superstar Cyborg has become, she is confident that no one would want to miss the fight between her and Cyborg.

Recently, she talked about the same and said, “It’s only the biggest fight of the year, I have no doubt that this is something that everybody will be tuning into.”

A title match generates a lot of buzz, but when that title match is also a rematch, the popularity of the fight increases tenfold.

‘The Peacemaker’ said, “It’s a rematch, you know Cris has proven her star power over the years and I don’t think there’s anybody who is going to want to miss me getting in there for my opportunity at this title, the Bellator world title.”

Smith seems hungry for a rematch, as besides getting her hands on the title, she would want to avenge her defeat.

Leslie Smith vs Cris Cyborg- Bellator 259

After losing to Cyborg, Smith has put together a record of  4-1 and has defeated fighters like Irene Aldana and Amanda Lemos. Her latest victory was against Amanda Bell at Bellator 245. She won the match via unanimous decision.

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Meanwhile, after defeating Smith, Cyborg trumped Tonya Evinger to win the vacant UFC women’s featherweight championship. Following her time in the UFC (which ended with a defeat at the hands of Amanda Nunes), Cyborg joined Bellator MMA and claimed the strap on her promotional debut.

CURITIBA, BRAZIL – MAY 14: (L-R) Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino of Brazil celebrates after defeating Leslie Smith in their women’s catchweight bout during the UFC 198 event at Arena da Baixada stadium on May 14, 2016 in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Smith and Cyborg are both top MMA fighters, and ‘The Peacemaker’ Leslie is correct in saying that no one would want to miss their match.

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Whether the fight is the biggest of the year is a different thing, but the prospect of seeing these two talented fighters battle it out would be a treat to watch.

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Paras Pande

144 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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