Cyborg and Carmouche Show Why Experience Matters at Bellator 300
Bellator has two women’s champions that seem to never age. Cris Cyborg, 38, and Liz Carmouche, 39, have been involved in MMA for a long time with many different organizations. Both seem to have found satisfaction by using the twilight of their respective careers to show the up-and-comers what it would take to become a champion.
Carmouche made her second title defense at flyweight after winning by a leg kick TKO in the fifth round. Cyborg defended her featherweight belt by dominating fellow veteran fighter Cat Zingano, 41. With the future of Bellator up in the air, Bellator 300 had several special moments that showed the promotion still has life, according to the MMA latest updates.
Zingano and Cyborg Can’t Bury the Hatchet
The buildups to major fights are usually ugly. But after the fight, each combatant will typically express respect for their respective opponents. Zingano didn’t feel that way after losing to Cyborg, according to MMA news sites.
Cyborg dominated the fight between the two women. Zingano couldn’t land a takedown and eventually landed a strike that dropped her to the ground. Cyborg quickly finished her with ground and pound. Zingano and Cyborg had an argument when Cyborg approached Zingano in the cage after the bout.
Zingano was angry about what she perceived as bullying during the buildup of the fight. While Cyborg wanted to make peace, Zingano was still upset and was eager to get away from the champion. Zingano was also upset that this may be her final chance to win a championship in a major promotion.
Zingano hasn’t won a championship since she was on the regional scene in 2011. She challenged Ronda Rousey for the UFC bantamweight championship at UFC 185 in February 2015 but lost in 14 seconds via armbar.
Carmouche Would Like Opponent to Make Weight
It doesn’t seem fair to Carmouche that her opponents keep missing weight. At Bellator 300, Carmouche was forced to defend her championship under weird circumstances when Ilima-Lei Macfarlane missed weight. Macfarlane missed the 125-pound weight limit by over a pound, coming in at 126.6 pounds.
Carmouche didn’t let the weight miss bother her much. She controlled the fight and threw a leg kick in the fifth round that incapacitated Macfarlane and forced a stop to the fight. Under the rules of the bout, Carmouche was the only one who could win the title due to the weight miss. Had Macfarlane won, the championship would have been vacated.
This is the second straight fight this has happened to Carmouche. DeAnna Bennett also missed weight by over a pound at Bellator 294, and Carmouche won via a fourth-round submission.
Nurmagomedov Defends Title in Sudden Main Event
Bellator’s promotion for this card was originally centered around having four championship fights on one card. However, the heavyweight title fight between Ryan Bader and Linton Vassell was scrapped after Vassell had to pull out due to injury. That propelled Usman Nurmagomedov’s title defense against Brent Primus in the lightweight world grand prix semi finals to the main event.
Nurmagomedov did what people with his name typically do: dominate their opponents. He won 50-45 on all three scorecards to retain his championship. He has now made two successful title defenses since winning the championship from Patrick Pitbull in 2022. MMA news sites show Nurmagomedov is now 18-0 in his career.
McCourt Stakes Claim to a Title Shot
Irish fighter Leah McCourt is showing how quickly her game is growing. After taking a decision loss to Zingano last March after suffering a nasty cut on her face, McCourt bounced back by taking on respected veteran Sara McMann.
McMann, a UFC veteran who has 21 fights under her belt, struggled with McCourt’s strength. McCourt was able to get on top of McMann and land ground and pound to stop the fight with 30 seconds left in the first round. McCourt is now 8-3 in her career and has started to show she can hang with some of the division’s best.
McCourt was the No. 5 contender at featherweight entering the fight, while McMann was No. 2. With Zingano losing in dominant fashion, Bellator will need another challenger for Cyborg. McCourt may see her name called after that performance.
Kamaka Finds New Life in Bellator
Kai Kamaka III saw his time in the UFC end in a poor fashion. During his final three fights, he suffered a TKO loss to Jonathan Pearce, lost a split decision to T.J. Brown, and drew with Danny Chavez. Once he joined Bellator, Kamaka split his first two fights and was seeking to build some momentum.
A knockout win over Kevin Boehm at Bellator 289 has seemingly put him on that path. During Bellator 300, Kamaka upset No. 9 featherweight Henry Corrales in a split decision. Kamaka is now riding a three-fight winning streak and has improved to 12-5 in his career.
Yagshimuradov Protects His Ranking
No. 7 Bellator light heavyweight Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov was able to protect his ranking with a unanimous decision over Maciej Rozanski. Yashimuradov was able to do enough to win all three rounds on one judge’s card and won 29-28 on the two other cards.
Here’s a look at the other results from an action-packed Bellator 300:
- Catchweight: Bobby Seronio III by decision over Alberto Garcia (30-27 x3)
- Lightweight: Sergio Cossio submission by triangle choke over Jesse Roberts, 4:05 Round 3
- Heavyweight: Slim Trabelsi TKO (leg injury) Davion Franklin, 3:19 Round 1
- Catchweight: Mukhamed Berkhamov decision Herman Terrado (30-27 x3)
- Middleweight: Grant Neal decision Romero Cotton (30-27, 29-28 x2)
- Women’s flyweight: Jena Bishop submission by armbar over Ilara Joanne, 2:45 Round 1
- Heavyweight: Josh Hokit submission by arm-triangle choke over Spencer Smith, 3:48 Round 3
- Women’s featherweight: Jackie Cataline decision over Lorrany Santos (30-27 x2, 30-26)
- Catchweight: Dmytrii Hrytsenko decision over Justin Montalvo (29-28 x3)
- Bantamweight: Bryce Meredith decision over Miguel Peimbert (30-26, 30-27 x2)