A Bellator featherweight title rematch between former-foes, Cris Cyborg and Leslie Smith has been added to Bellator 259 on May 21st. — five years after their initial matchup under the UFC’s banner back in 2016.
Attempting to lodge the second defence of her 145-pound title, Cyborg most recently appeared at Bellator 249 in October of last year — submitting two-time championship chaser, Arlene Blencowe, improving her record under the Scott Coker led banner to 2-0.
A three-fight Bellator alum, Smith has managed to secure a 2-1 record during her promotional run, taking unanimous decision victories over Straight Blast Gym mainstay, Sinead Kavanagh, and division mainstay, Amanda Bell. In her sole promotional blemish, the 38-year-old dropped a decision defeat to common-opposition, Blenclowe.
Welcoming former UFC, Strikeforce, Invicta FC titleholder, Cyborg to the UFC back in May of 2016 at UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil — Smith dropped a first-round knockout loss to the Brazilian in a 140-pound catchweight clash.
With a professional record of 23-2, 35-year-old Curitiba native Cyborg is recognized as one of the greatest female mixed martial arts of all time, as well as arguably the most decorated. Adding the Bellator championship to prior spoils in the UFC, Strikeforce, and Invicta FC, Cyborg headlined Bellator 238 in February of last year at The Forum in Inglewood, California — stopping defending champion, Julia Budd in the fourth frame via strikes.
A twenty-one fight professional veteran, Smith holds a 12-8 and once challenged for the Invicta FC flyweight championship back in December of 2013. With five knockout wins littered on her professional resume, Smith has scored notable victories over the likes of Kaitlin Young, Raquel Pennington, Jennifer Maia, Jessamyn Duke, Irene Aldana, and Amanda Lemos.