Cris Cyborg is back, and her first Bellator title defense will ring in the promotion’s debut on a new network.
Cyborg will put her Bellator women’s featherweight title on the line against Arlene Blencowe on Oct. 15 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, promotion officials announced Friday.
The card will air in a Thursday night time slot on CBS Sports Network. Bellator had been on Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) since 2013.
Cyborg (22-2, 1 NC), ESPN’s No. 3-ranked pound-for-pound female fighter in the world, won the Bellator title in her last outing, stopping Julia Budd by fourth-round TKO in January.
The Brazilian knockout artist has won two straight after losing the UFC women’s featherweight title to Amanda Nunes at UFC 232 in December 2018.
Cyborg, 35, departed the UFC after her contract expired last year. She is one of the most fearsome women’s MMA fighters of all time with 18 KO/TKO finishes in 22 pro wins.
Blencowe (13-7) has won three straight and is coming off a unanimous decision win over UFC veteran Leslie Smith last November. The Australia native has just two MMA losses in the past five years, both to Budd. Blencowe, a 37-year-old boxing veteran, has seven KO/TKOs in 13 pro wins.
Bellator president Scott Coker also announced Friday the main event for a card Oct. 29 at Mohegan Sun. Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima will move up to middleweight to fight Gegard Mousasi for the vacant middleweight title.
Lima (32-7) has won three straight and is a three-time Bellator welterweight champion. The 32-year-old Brazilian is tied for the most knockouts in Bellator history (9).
Mousasi (46-7-2) has won nine of his past 10, including five straight in the UFC before he left as a free agent in 2017. The 35-year-old Netherlands resident, a former Strikeforce and Dream champion, has been a perennial contender in multiple divisions for more than a decade.
Bellator’s show in Paris on Oct. 10 — the first major MMA event in France since the country legalized the sport earlier this year — will be allowed to have up to 5,000 fans in attendance. Michael Page vs. Ross Houston and Frenchman Cheick Kongo vs. Tim Johnson will be on the Paris card.