Cris Cyborg could soon be facing a familiar foe.
Bellator president Scott Coker confirmed Friday night that the promotion is targeting a featherweight title rematch between Cyborg and Sinead Kavanagh following Kavanagh’s gritty decision win over Leah McCourt at Bellator 275.
Bellator announced the rematch on the broadcast for a yet-to-be-determined date, however that was before promotion officials considered the status of Kavanagh, who appeared to injure her left knee late in the second round of her win over McCourt.
“We announced the fight, but I talked to [coach] John [Kavanagh] and I said, ‘Look, let’s see how the injury comes out.’ But she will be next in line, and if she’s willing to do it and able to do it, and physically able to do it, then we’ll put it together,” Coker said at Bellator 275’s post-fight press conference. “Where, it’s probably going to be in America somewhere, just to be honest, but you never know with this sport, what happens, and it could extend out to the next time we come back [to Ireland]. But we would love to put that fight together if she’s able to do it.”
Kavanagh (8-5) and Cyborg (25-2, 1 NC) just fought this past November, with Cyborg winning via 92-second knockout in a dominant showing at Bellator 271 to record the third defense of her Bellator featherweight title.
Despite that result, however, promotion officials appear to have their eyes locked on a rematch between the two 145-pounders. Coker said more details should be coming soon.
“[We’ll do it] before the end of the year, for sure,” he said. “We have a couple dates here and we’ll figure out the schedule, but I think some time in the fall.
“We should wait to see if she’s seriously injured or not,” Coker added, “and we’ll offer her the title fight. I’m going to talk to John about that and if he wants to do it, we’ll do it. But if she’s injured and she needs to get surgery, if she hurt her knee real bad, I’m not sure. He says it’ll probably take three or four days and then they’ll let us know.”
Coker addressed several other subjects in his post-fight press conference as well, including the potential return of Dillon Danis, the jiu-jitsu specialist who hasn’t fought since 2019.
A quick rundown of those comments can be read below.
On Dillon Danis: “He’s been texting me all weekend and saying he wants to get back in, he’s ready to get back in. So as soon as I get back home, I’m going to call him, we’re going to see if we can put something together for him. But it’s going to be up to him. He’s going to have to really want it. He’s going to [have to] train and get in there.”
“Listen, when we signed Dillon, it was about being a high-level jiu-jitsu master, getting to the point where he could become a complete MMA fighter. And I thought we were along the way, then he started getting injured and things got in the way. But if he’s ready to go, we’re ready to go.”
On talks to sign free agent Kayla Harrison: “You know what? I think that’s an ongoing dialogue between my guys and her camp. Listen, Ali [Abdelaziz] is one of the best manager/agents in the world, and he drives a hard bargain. So I’m sure he’s doing what he’s doing, and let’s see what happens. ... I don’t do [guessing] percentages.”
On Gegard Mousasi’s future: “We’re going to fight him a lot. Gegard is going to fight, I think — I bet you, the way he’s looking — probably a minimum of three times this year.”
On returning to Ireland: “The atmosphere here is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and you guys know how special it is. You guys have seen all the fights. It’s amazing. So we definitely will be back, but yeah, we’d love to have our second home here. We should be adopted here and bring Bellator back here at least twice a year.”