Bellator 271: Cris Cyborg knocks out Sinead Kavanagh to retain title

Last update on. From the section Mixed Martial Arts
Cyborg won her 20th career knockout

Below is a detailed report on what took place at Bellator 271. The entire event can be viewed again on BBC iPlayer (UK only).

Cris Cyborg, the reigning featherweight world champion, claimed the 11th round knockout of her career when she defeated Sinead Kavanagh from Ireland in Bellator 271.

Brazil's Cyborg (36 years old) went toe-to-toe with Irish striker Kavanagh (35) in a wild encounter. The pair traded leather during a high-octane fight in Hollywood, Florida.

Cyborg and Kavanagh threw heavy punches starting at the opening bell before the champion initiated a clinch against it.

When the action went back to the boxing arena, the fists flew again and Cyborg's power prevailed as after just one minute, 32 seconds, she defeated Kavanagh with a vicious combination.

Cyborg's win was her 11th knockout in the first round of her career and her 20th overall.

Cyborg acknowledged that she had strayed from her team's plan as she stood, and she traded rather than mixing her game with wrestling.

"I worked very hard to prepare for this fight. My team and I are sorry that I didn't accomplish what we had planned. She laughed.

I knew she was more of an striker so I was able to go to my takedowns as well as my ground game. But, I stated that I wanted to feel her in the stand up. I am very excited to get the knockout.

"I requested Cat Zingano as my next request, but I'll let Scott Coker handle it." "I don't pick any opponents."

Cyborg's win, which was witnessed from cageside by Kayla Harrison (a two-time Olympic Judo gold medallist and PFL women’s lightweight champion), was captured live by Harrison, who is currently an agent free of charge.

Cyborg stated that she would welcome Cyborg to the Bellator cage.

"Kayla! Thanks for coming to the fights. She said, "You know I appreciate your [being] there."

"I'm here and if you would like to fight me one day, that would make it a great fight." To make it happen, Ali [Abdelaziz Harrison's manager] must talk to the promotion."

Vassell wins big with his grappling skills

Fortune lost to Vassell in the heavyweight clash.

The co-main event saw Linton Vassell, England's former light-heavyweight title challenger, move one step closer towards title contention at heavyweight by winning a split-decision win over Tyrell Fortune, an American contender.

Vassell was victorious in a three-round bout that saw both men receive illegal knees to their groins. His grappling skills were decisive and he won the scrambles against Vassell on the mat.

Vassell, 38, repeatedly fought back against his opponent and hit Fortune, 31, with heavy ground hits as he tried to find a way to a rear-naked choke.

Fortune fought hard to keep the fight on the scorecards. However, 'Big Swarm,' his third consecutive win in the Bellator heavyweight division, was not possible. His scores were 28-29 (29-28), 29-28 (29-28), 29-28, and 29-28 (29-28).

Pico claims first decision win

Aaron Pico, a rising featherweight contender, continued his impressive form and defeated Justin Gonzales, former LFA featherweight champion.

Pico, 25, was dominant in all aspects of the matchup. He punished Gonzales (30) in striking exchanges and then took control on the mat, after repeatedly taking Gonzales to the ground during their 145lbs bout.

Gonzales fought hard and forced Pico into the fight, forcing him to finish the bout. However, Pico was ultimately unable stop Pico from achieving a shutout win on scorecards with scores of 30-27-30-27, 30-26, and 30-26.

Pico said after Pico's victory, "I knew it was a dominant performance but I have to improve."

"I am so hard on myself. Although I was happy with the outcome, I still want to win. I am happy that I won.

"Let's get back to the drawing board. I know that once I step outside of this cage, it will be a completely different ball game. Let's get started.

Blencowe too strong for Sorenson

Arlene Blencowe, the number-one-ranked female featherweight competitor, won a decisive decision over Pam Sorenson in the opening bout on the main card.

Blencowe (38), a two-time title challenger, had a clear advantage in striking exchanges, as she thoroughly outboxed Sorenson (35) throughout their 145lbs matchup.

The Australian found repeatedly a home for her right arm, with Sorenson's desperate attempts to take down the American offering only temporary relief.

Blencowe's takedown defense ensured that she was not in danger. She cruised to unanimous victory with scores 29-28 and 30-27.