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Cris Cyborg vs. Leslie Smith 2 headlines Bellator 259

Bellator MMA

Bellator featherweight champion Cris Cyborg’s second title defense will be a rematch against Leslie Smith.

Bellator announced on Friday during the Bellator 255 broadcast the second meeting between Cyborg and Smith, which will headline Bellator 259 on May 21 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Cyborg and Smith first fought in the UFC in 2016. Cyborg, making her octagon debut, stopped Smith in 81 seconds in a 140-pound catchweight bout.

Appearing on the broadcast for Friday’s event, Smith indicated she felt the first bout was stopped too quickly and felt another meeting with Cyborg would go her way.

“Luckily, I’ve had the past five years to work on it,” said Smith, who signed with Bellator one month prior to Cyborg in April 2019. “I’ve also been in this camp for a couple of months. I’m ready for anything. I’ve been training all aspects of my game.”

Cyborg most recently appeared in the Bellator cage this past October at Bellator 249, where she submitted Arlene Blencowe in the second round to notch her first defense after taking the featherweight title in violent fashion from Julia Budd.

After a knockout loss to current two-division UFC champ Amanda Nunes in 2018, Cyborg had a very public falling out with the promotion and was granted her release from her contract.

Smith filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board for the circumstances surrounding her release from the promotion in 2018; she accused the promotion of firing her for her attempts to create a collective bargaining agreement with fighters.

In the Bellator cage, Smith is 2-1 with her most recent win coming this past September via decision over Amanda Bell.

Check out the faceoff at Bellator 255 between Cyborg and Smith above.

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