Bellator 271 results: Cris Cyborg starches Sinead Kavanagh to defend title, entertains Kayla Harrison

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Was there every any doubt about the Bellator 271 main event?

Cris Cyborg asserted her dominance as Bellator women’s featherweight champion once again Friday night, knocking out Sinead Kavanagh in the first round at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

The fight was a clear mismatch on paper, with Cyborg (25-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) entering as a 30-to-1 favorite and Kavanagh (7-5 MMA, 4-5 BMMA) a 13-to-1 underdog, and it played out that way in the cage.

Cyborg wasted no time blitzing Kavanagh with punches, forcing a clinch near the cage, After a few moments, they separated, but Cyborg immediately blitzed again and landed hard shots, forcing Kavanagh to clinch once more. Kavanagh was bleeding from her nose by the time a third exchange occurred, and this one ended the fight after Cyborg dropped Kavanagh to the canvas with a hard right hand. Kavanagh managed to clip Cyborg, but the champ simply overwhelmed her to score the finish just 1:32 in the first round.

Cyborg’s tear through Bellator continued as she’s now 4-0 with the promotion, including three title defenses. Cat Zingano seems like a natural next opponent, but there’s potentially another option in Kayla Harrison, who was in attendance Friday night.

Harrison, 31, is a free agent after winning the 2021 PFL women’s lightweight championship. She was expected to speak with Bellator president Scott Coker during the week about possibly joining Bellator.

Cyborg, 36, was asked in the cage about a possible matchup and made it clear that she welcomed it.

As for Kavanagh, the loss snapped a two-fight winning streak for the SBG Ireland teammate of Conor McGregor. It was her first fight in 13 months.

Complete Bellator 271 results:

  • Champ Cris Cyborg def. Sinead Kavanagh via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:32 – to defend women’s featherweight title

  • Linton Vassell def. Tyrell Fortune via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Aaron Pico def. Justin Gonzales via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

  • Arlene Blencowe def. Pam Sorenson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Steve Mowry def. Rakim Cleveland via submission (Kimura) – Round 1, 3:28