One of the most dominant women in the history of mixed martial arts returns to the Bellator cage on Friday night. Women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg will defend her title in a rematch with Leslie Smith in the main event of Bellator 259 from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Cyborg beat Smith in their first meeting, a May 2016 clash at UFC 198. That fight happened at a 140-pound catchweight while the rematch will take place at the standard 145-pound featherweight limit with the title on the line.
In the co-main event, former Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell will be in action when he rematches Leandro Higo. Caldwell is coming off a loss to AJ McKee in the semifinals of the Featherweight World Grand Prix. After a 1-3 start to his Bellator career, Higo has won back-to-back fights, both by submission. Caldwell beat Higo in their first meeting, scoring a first-round guillotine choke win at Bellator 195 in March 2018. The fight was Caldwell’s first defense of his bantamweight title.
It’s shaping up to be a busy week in Uncasville, Connecticut. Stay tuned to CBS Sports for the latest info on this card as well as fight odds and analysis leading up to the event below.
Bellator 259 fight card
- Cris Cyborg (c) vs. Leslie Smith, women’s featherweight championship
- Darrion Caldwell vs. Leandro Higo, bantamweight
- Austin Vanderford vs. Fabian Edwards, middleweight
- Jaleel Willis vs. Maycon Mendonca, welterweight
- Christian Edwards vs. Ben Parrish, light heavyweight
- Saad Awad vs. Nate Andrews, lightweight
- Grant Neal vs. Tyree Fortune, light heavyweight
- Sumiko Inaba vs. Kristina Katsikis, flyweight
- Aviv Gozali vs. Sean Felton, lightweight
- Valerie Loureda vs. Hannah Guy, women’s flyweight
- Davion Franklin vs. Tyler King, heavyweight
- Janay Harding vs. Leah McCourt, women’s featherweight
- Brett Johns vs. Danny Sabatello, bantamweight
- Alexander Shabliy vs. Alfie Davis, lightweight
Bellator 259 info
- Date: May 21
- Location: Mohegan Sun Arena — Uncasville, Connecticut
- Start time: 9 p.m. ET (Main card)
- How to watch: Click to Watch Live