MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down Bellator’s high bouts. This day, we seek on the principle tournament for Bellator 249.
Bellator 249 takes space Thursday at Mohegan Sun Enviornment in Uncasville, Conn. The principle card airs on CBS Sports Network following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Cris Cyborg (22-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA)
High: 5’8″ Age: 35 Weight: 145 lbs. Attain: 69″
Final strive against: TKO clutch over Julia Budd (Jan. 25, 2020)
Camp: Cris Cyborg MMA Fitness (California)
Stance/inserting sort: Orthodox/muay Thai
Pain administration: Goal correct-searching
+ Bellator featherweight champion
+ UFC, Strikeforce and Invicta FC titles
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt
+ 18 KO victories
+ 10 first-round finishes
+ KO energy
+ Aggressive tempo and stress
+ Evolved inserting
^ Shot probability and technique
+ Sturdy within the clinch
+ Stable wrestling and takedown ability
+ Factual positional grappler
^ Devastating ground striker
Arlene Blencowe (13-7 MMA, 6-3 BMMA)
High: 5’5″ Age: 37 Weight: 145 lbs. Attain: 67″
Final strive against: Decision clutch over Leslie Smith (Nov. 8, 2019)
Camp: Team Te Huna (Australia)
Stance/inserting sort: Orthodox/kickboxing
Pain administration: Goal correct-searching
+ Boxing background
+ 2x world boxing champ
+ 7 KO victories
+ 1 submission clutch
+ 5 first-round finishes
+ KO energy
+ Factual footwork
^ Cuts cage/manages distance smartly
+ Factual shot probability
^ Coming forward or off the counter
+ Improved wrestling and clinch fighting
+/- Does smartly defending 1st layer of takedowns
^ Historically struggles on second makes an strive/chains
Level of hobby: Boxing beliefs
The principle tournament of Bellator 249 is a featherweight title strive against between two competitors who maintain quite just a few perception of their boxing.
Coming from a boxing execrable, Arlene Blencowe has been in a trouble to function some solid journey despite getting off to a puny little bit of a slack birth in MMA. The Australian product might possibly perchance maintain started her Bellator profession as a .500 fighter (before everything going 3-3 in the group), but all those losses got right here to world championship-stage competition, as Blencowe arguably beat then-champion Julia Budd of their second meeting.
Regardless of no longer bearing the ultimate stature for a featherweight, Blencowe clearly instructions her opponent’s appreciate by her ability to accurately space energy photos.
Whether Blencowe is chopping the cage to come support forward or attempting to search out alternatives to counter, she retains an handsome trusty hand on the ready, as left hooks and body photos aren’t customarily too some distance in the support of on the apply-up. And when feeling in scramble, the 37-twelve months-archaic fighter now does a critically higher job at mixing in knees and leg kicks into the equation.
That acknowledged, tempo and output were disorders for the Australian on every occasion paired with warring parties who doubtlessly carry takedown threats, and I’ll be unfamiliar to peer her technique against a vaunted powerhouse like Cris Cyborg.
Environment out her trip as more of a brawling expertise from Brazil, Cyborg has came for the duration of a neighborhood to name residence in Southern California, working with a great combine of high-stage inserting coaches like Jason Parillo and Rafael Cordeiro (both of whom maintain ancient world champs on their rosters and resumes).
Now, exhibiting a mighty more measured technique to stress, the 35-twelve months-archaic will gradually stalk forward while managing the distance to her preferred phrases. Upgrading her total stance, Cyborg appears to be like to hold up her balance critically higher, seldom getting herself out of space.
Prodding with a jab to enter trouble, Cyborg wishes all however the slightest chew (or designate of blood in the water) to swarm her opposition with offensive waves of hooking punches and body assaults. Nonetheless, pondering the usual inserting savvy of the opponent at hand, I’d no longer be surprised to peer the present champion trade fighting phases altogether.
Level of hobby: Grappling discrepancies
Given the obtrusive grappling discrepancies on paper, many – including myself – shock if Cyborg might possibly perchance seek to employ things to the mat early.
As a result of the persona of Cyborg’s sport and what it in most cases forces her opposition to enact, wrestling has quietly become truly apt one of her stronger ability sets over the last decade. From defensive and receive-up fundamentals (notably from the fence) to offensive reversals, the 15-twelve months pro displays your entire requisite expertise to tackle herself within discontinuance quarters – notably interior of the clinch.
From unloading knees in the Thai plum to hitting lateral drops off an over-below, Cyborg instructions a various ability to manipulate our bodies in tight that’s spicy to rival on this division. And when in a trouble to ground her opponents, the Brazilian’s assault simplest appears to be like to intensify.
A no-nonsense grappler, Cyborg prioritizes space over submission.
Whether she is attacking or defending submissions, Cyborg does smartly at killing or setting up scrambles on her phrases. In total losing puny time in settling in on high, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt will apply regular doses of forearm or shoulder stress, securing her target for the strikes which shall be quickly to use.
When fighting from within the guard, Cyborg displays vivid hand-fighting and positional consciousness interior and out of her opponent’s salvage, making her spicy to post at some level of her ground assaults.
Even supposing Blencowe displays no present Brazilian jiu-jitsu ranks or grappling accolades that I’m attentive to, the Australian product has made measurable efforts in the wrestling and scrambling division.
Connected to Cyborg, Blencowe has moreover needed to tackle quite just a few warring parties pressing grappling-heavy gameplans on her, and this seemingly has helped forced her to become a higher fighter in the clinch. Displaying a solid first layer of takedown defense (that entails both sprawls in the launch and underhooks when against the fence), Blencowe has become critically higher about holding her hips and hitting on the technique out of separations.
Even when taken down, the seven-twelve months pro displays some solid instincts in regards to scrambling to her execrable or swimming for single-legs to face, which is able to seemingly attend her smartly on this strive against. That acknowledged, it’s spicy to inform who will maintain the total edge on the floor.
Level of hobby: Odds and opinions
The oddsmakers and public and clearly siding with the sitting champion, list Cyborg -800 and Blencowe +550 as of this writing.
Even supposing most Cyborg fights can in actuality feel like foregone conclusions, I enact take into consideration Blencowe has the physicality and ability trouble to step into upset territory.
Now now not simplest does Blencowe level to the durability and chin wanted to withstand the energy that will be coming her technique, however the conventional boxer moreover carries ample pop and counter savvy to presumably shock Cyborg if she’s no longer as a lot as snuff in exchanges. And if Blencowe can sting the present champ early and venture her ego (like we’ve considered sooner than, against Amanda Nunes, as an instance), then presumably the challenger can plot Cyborg actual into a kind of battle that doesn’t behoove her.
Nonetheless, I salvage it spicy to rely on any of those outcomes given how engaging Cyborg unruffled appears to be like to hunt.
In her supreme strive against, in which she done Budd to voice the Bellator belt and add to a legacy which already incorporated Strikeforce, Invicta, and UFC titles, Cyborg stung the body like a professional boxer. Nonetheless for this divulge contest, it’s indirectly spicy to refute that Cyborg is but a takedown some distance from changing this strive against’s trajectory, as I suspect she ultimately forces a stoppage by the use of ground-and-pound in the second round.