Cris ‘Cyborg’ Hopes to Defend Bellator Title vs. Cat Zingano in Brazil
With a new Bellator deal in hand, it appears that Cristiane Justino has a target for her next title defense.
During the Bellator 296 broadcast last Friday, “Cyborg” discussed her future plans with Combate commentator Ana Hissa. The reigning featherweight queen revealed that Cat Zigano will likely be her next opponent, and there’s a chance that the bout could take place in Brazil.
“Cat Zingano is next. She's been training a lot, and I believe it's going to be a great fight. I'm just waiting for her to sign the contract, because she should have been fighting for the belt for a while now,” Justino said.
According to “Cyborg,” Bellator president Scott Coker has expressed excitement regarding the possibility of holding the fight in her home country.
“In one of the conversations I had with Scott Coker, he said he really wants to take my fight against Cat to Brazil. It would be a pleasure to defend the belt in my country,” she said. “When I had my fight in a soccer stadium in Brazil [at UFC 198] I thought it was very special. It was one of my dreams and I managed to do it in Curitiba in my hometown.”
“Cyborg” hasn’t competed in MMA since defeating Arlene Blencowe via unanimous decision in the Bellator 279 headliner in April 2022. During that layoff, Justino had a pair of boxing matches, but now she is excited to make her comeback against Zingano.
“She beat Amanda Nunes. This fight will be important not only for the MMA world, but also for me,” Justino said. “She's going to want to take me down and I’ve been preparing for that. The experience I have on the ground has improved a lot since the beginning of my career. It will be a good fight. If I have a chance to finish, I will finish. But everyone knows that I like the stand-up game. I'm going to play my game.”
“Cyborg” is not the first champion to mention the possibility of a Bellator event in Brazil. In a previous interview with Sherdog.com, Patricio Freire revealed that he has heard rumors of the promotion making its Brazilian debut in 2023, and that he intends to be on the card to defend his featherweight belt after facing Sergio Pettis for the bantamweight title at Bellator 297.
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