MIAMI – Pound-for-pound queen Cris Cyborg (24-2, 1 NC) returns to the BELLATOR cage, putting her featherweight title on the line for the third time against Irish-born slugger Sinead Kavanagh (7-4) this Friday on SHOWTIME. Holding a perfect BELLATOR record of 3-0, with all three wins coming by way of finish, Cyborg has been tearing through the BELLATOR 145-pound division and looks to stay on top against the streaking Kavanagh. In the co-main event, top-ten heavyweights collide as No. 5-ranked heavyweight Tyrell Fortune (11-1) squares off with No. 6-ranked Linton Vassell (21-8) in a matchup that will help shape the heavyweight title picture.
In addition to an incredible main and co-main event, the main card on SHOWTIME is stacked with three other amazing bouts. Featherweight phenom No. 6-ranked Aaron Pico (8-3) squares off with undefeated No. 8-ranked Justin Gonzales (12-0), No.1-ranked featherweight Arlene Blencowe (14-8) takes on No. 7-ranked Pam Sorenson (9-3), and undefeated No.7-ranked heavyweight Steve Mowry (9-0) clashes with Rakim Cleveland (22-13-1) during the must-watch main card.
The five-fight main card will air live on SHOWTIME in the United States at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. In addition, the seven-bout preliminary card will stream live three hours earlier beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on the BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel, SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel, and Pluto TV.
Tickets for BELLATOR 271: Cyborg vs. Kavanagh are on sale now and can be purchased online at Bellator.com.
Here is what the fighters had to say on Wednesday, Nov. 10:
CRIS CYBORG: BELLATOR MMA FEATHERWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION
“I respect Sinead, I respect her as a fighter and I’m very excited to fight her on Friday.”
“I believe that I’m the champ, but I do think the challenger should have to fight in my home. I believe the challenger should have to come for the champion.”
“I love BELLATOR, it reminds me of my great times in Strikeforce.”
“I’ve fought in Florida before, my uniform is Miami colors, I’m very excited to fight in front of my fans here in Miami.”
“I’m really excited to showcase the work I did with Antonio McKee, I worked on my wrestling there. I’m very happy and excited to show this.”
“I stay off social media when I’m in camp, I focus on my training and my opponent, I know I have five rounds to finish the fight, so I go in the cage, execute my gameplan and retain my title.”
Cyborg’s full media-day session:
SINEAD KAVANAGH: NO. 5-RANKED BELLATOR FEATHERWEIGHT
“Everything is perfect. I’m feeling strong. It’s been a great week. I’ve seen her and I ain’t afraid.”
“It’s amazing (to be representing Irish MMA). It’s amazing where I’ve come from and where I’m at now. I’m just proud of myself for being here and sticking at it. That alone has given me strength.”
“(Cyborg) is over here playing mind games. You wont even believe what they’re up to. They’re tagging me in that suplex (video). She has these ‘Squid Game’ cards with her face on them and she’s leaving them everywhere I go. She’s leaving them everywhere I go. She’s leaving them in my corner, leaving them on my floor. She’s trying to play her mind games. She’s trying to break me, but she can’t.”
“I was next in line (for this fight) and she was calling out other people. When I got the call, I was emotional because it’s well overdue. I should be here. It was a rollercoaster for me. It’s finally happened, it’s finally here and I’m ready to get going.”
“She gets too much (respect) in the cage. The cage is not to be giving respect, the cage is to fight, and the cage is to be leaving my soul in there and that’s exactly what I’m going to do Friday night.”
“I can’t wait to hit her.”
Sinead’s full media-day session:
TYRELL FORTUNE: NO. 5-RANKED BELLATOR HEAVYWEIGHT
“I think he’s a veteran of the sport. He’s been around for a long time. 30 or more fights under his belt. He’s a kickboxer from Britain and he’s a tough guy in general so I know what he has to offer and I know what he brings to the table. If he tries to wrestle me, we all know how that’s going to go.”
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens at the beginning of next year. We’ll have to see if Bader comes back to defend his title and that will pretty much tell us a lot about where we go and who I should be fighting next. As far as Fedor, he only has one more fight left on his contract, so what do I care who he fights next.”
“I’m definitely happy to be in a different state and a different arena and all of that. I feel like that adds a little more excitement to the fight.”
Tyrell’s full media-day session:
LINTON VASSELL: NO. 6-RANKED BELLATOR HEAVYWEIGHT
“I am coming off two big wins, so this was obviously the next fight to make. After those two wins, I was destined for a number one contender fight, which is what I think this is because Tyrell is Highly ranked, just like me. I want to be champ, so why not now?”
“Obviously, the fight will end with me winning in a TKO or a submission. I predict that he will break in the second round, especially if I come in at my best, which I have, and don’t rush. I will be patient, fight my fight and end this fight within the distance.”
“I am not going to lie, that three-fight losing streak was terrible. I even contemplated retirement. I was able to refocus on my weight so I could train properly and not gas out. After preparing and speaking with my coaches, the proof has been in the pudding. I am on a tear right now and approaching an eventual title shot.”
“This fight is business as usual. I know Tyrell is a great wrestler, but I have been working extremely hard on that aspect of my game. I am not saying I am a wrestler, but my preparation in that part of the game will allow me to match him there and overwhelm him with what I am better at.”
Linton’s full media-day session:
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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