Cris Cyborg after retaining the title:“I knew she was tough and I’ve fought her before. I know her and respect her and she’s a real fighter. I knew with her it would be a great match, because she’s capable and she’s tough.”
“I was really working in sparring to keep going and going because I knew it was going to be this way. I noticed I enjoyed it a little more. It’s going to be 16 years as a professional fighter this month so I started to enjoy it in there.”
“I’ve been working on grappling my whole life but I just feel like I’m getting better and better every day. I got a black belt, but it’s like a white belt because I’m always learning.”
“I’ve been doing this 16 years, I’ve got four titles. But before you can be a G.O.A.T. you have to fight the ‘Cat.’ So, I’d like to fight with Cat Zingano and I will ask Scott Coker. Because before you can be a G.O.A.T. you have to fight the ‘Cat.’”
#6-Leandro Higo (20-5) defeated Darrion Caldwell (15-5) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
“I’ve been waiting for this fight for three years now. It’s exactly how I wanted it to go. I used my wrestling and I used my jiu-jitsu. I’m a complete fighter and I’m ready for any fighter on the planet because I believe I’m the best. I knew I had lost the first round, but in the second when he was throwing all those elbows and cut me open, I’m from a poor family in Brazil and that was nothing I hadn’t seen before. I felt happy being in that cage with blood all over me.
“He ended up taking me down in the second and I went for a kimura, which is something I’m very accustomed to doing, but he reversed it but then he didn’t do anything and I hit him with a lot of strikes on bottom. A lot of elbows and strikes and I stayed very on bottom and he wasn’t doing anything. That’s why I won the second and third round.”
“I think that I deserve a title shot. I just beat three of the biggest names in the game and I just beat a former world champion. And nobody has beaten the top three guys of this world-class caliber like I have done in three consecutive wins. I’m going for that world title and that’s what’s next for me. So let’s make it fast.”
#3-Austin Vanderford (11-0) defeated #4-Fabian Edwards (9-2) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Austin Vanderford following his unanimous decision win:
“I like my fights bloody, whether it’s me or my opponent. I’ll get a scab. But hats off to Fabian who cut me up a little bit. But happy to get the win.”
“He was a big, strong guy. I started feeling him give me that head and arm choke. Unfortunately, I didn’t capitalize on it. But I knew what I was going to do. I was going to just grind it out. He’s a good striker so I had to be careful but I felt good. Wrestling … it’s my heart. I’m ready for the next step.”
Jaleel Willis (15-2) defeated Maycon Mendonca (11-5) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Hannah Guy (3-1) defeated #8-Valerie Loureda (3-1) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Hannah Guy following her first win inside the BELLATOR cage…
“I felt like I had really good cardio, so that was awesome because I was really worried about that a little bit. I’m so thankful she took the fight and I’m so thankful BELLATOR gave me this opportunity.
“I thought I was going to finish with the triangle (choke), honestly. She just slipped right out of there, so that was awesome of her. Her defense was really good. I was really impressed with that. I didn’t know what her ground game was but it was a lot better than I thought it was going to be.
“Grappling is just where I want to be if you’ve seen any of my other fights. My striking has really improved a lot though so I’m hoping to change that. But grappling has always been my strong suit. I didn’t want to just depend on my grappling, but I thought I landed some shots pretty well a few times. In this fight I thought I could see when the punches were coming. And I was able to defend a little bit better and how I’ve grown. So I’m just really proud of myself right now.”
Saad Awad (24-13, 1 NC) defeated Nate Andrews (16-4) via KO (strikes) at 3:16 of round one
#7-Grant Neal (6-0) defeated #8-Tyree Fortune (5-1) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:20 of round one
Sumiko Inaba (2-0) defeated Kristina Katsikis (1-2) via TKO (strikes) at 3:35 of round three
Aviv Gozali (6-0) defeated Sean Felton (5-3-1) via submission (heel hook) at 1:17 of round one
#9-Davion Franklin (3-0) defeated Tyler King (12-10) via KO at 2:02 of round one
#7-Leah McCourt (5-1) defeated 6-Janay Harding (6-5) via submission (triangle choke) at 2:42 of round two
Danny Sabatello (11-1) defeated Brett Johns (17-3) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alexander Shabliy (20-3) defeated #9-Alfie Davis (14-4) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
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PHOTOS: BELLATOR MMA / LUCAS NOONAN