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Invicta Fighting Championships. Ultimate Fighting Championship. Cris Cyborg can now call herself a four-promotion world champion as she captured the Bellator MMA featherweight title on Saturday night in dominant fashion inside the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California.
Justino (22-2, 1 NC) fought a measured pace against defending champion Julia Budd in the main event of Bellator 238, a woman who hadn’t lost in eight years. “Cyborg” took her time against the Canadian, though her world-renowned brawling style showed up in spurts, and most importantly, it’s what the Brazilian used to close the show.
Budd (13-3) fought well and stood her ground against arguably the greatest female MMA fighter in history, but she eventually withered under the pressure in the championship rounds. “Cyborg” pressed Budd into the cage early in the fourth and when she created just enough space to let her fists go, she unleashed a hellish onslaught. “Cyborg” pelted “The Jewel” with punches to the head, but it was a crippling right hook to the body that doubled Budd over. Once Budd crumbled in a heap, Justino continued to swarm her but monstrously mustachioed referee Mike Beltran intervened, officially ending the drubbing at 1:14 of the frame.
Darrion Caldwell gave unbeaten contender Adam Borics a mean dose of reality as he tormented the Hungarian before quickly dispatching him. “The Wolf” went right after the former kickboxing world champion with strikes and forced “The Kid” into the cage. Borics (14-1) tried locking up a guillotine as he was taken to the canvas, but when he couldn’t finish off the American, he was doomed. Caldwell (15-3) escaped the guillotine, seized Borics’ back and eventually wrapped him up in a rear-naked choke. Borics bowed out just 2:20 into the fight, allowing Caldwell to advance to the semifinals of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix.
In what was a minor upset, Juan Archuleta came into the cage and stole a win away from fellow veteran Henry Corrales. “The Spaniard” traded strikes with Corrales (17-5) for three rounds, but wasn’t able to take “OK” to the canvas. The contest itself wasn’t a thrilling affair as the two featherweights fought largely at a cautious, measured pace, but all three cageside judges felt that Archuleta (24-2) did enough to win. Archuleta was given the judges’ verdict via tallies of 29-28 across the board.
Related » Bellator 238 Round-by-Round Scoring
Bantamweight veteran Sergio Pettis looked sensational in his Bellator debut as he thrashed the overmatched Alfred Khashakyan in just three minutes. After a short while of figuring out his timing, Pettis (19-5) crushed “The Fearless” with a massive right hook to the jaw. Khashakyan (11-5) withstood a barrage of punches and somehow stayed conscious during the assault, but the end came when “S.P.” latched on a textbook guillotine choke. Khashakyan couldn’t escape and within a few ticks of the clock, he was sleeping.
Longtime kickboxing virtuoso Raymond Daniels clobbered Jason King in the first round by utilizing his world-class striking prowess. Daniels (2-1) used an array of kicks and punches, eventually badly rocking “The Asian Persuasion” with punches to the head. With King (8-6) reeling, “The Real Deal” dropped him multiple times before finally pouncing on him and finishing him off with deadly fists from mount. The end came at 3:07 of the first.
Emilee King (4-4) made it look too easy against current boxer and former champion Ava Knight in the opening bout of the main card. King forced “Lady of Boxing” into a clinch and quickly took her down. From there, the Tennessee resident – and wife of Jason King -- switched from submission to submission before eventually securing a rear-naked choke. Once the choke was locked in, King squeezed until Knight (1-1) went to sleep, officially ending the strawweight battle at 2:18 of the opening round.
In preliminary action, Miguel Jacob defeated David Pacheco via unanimous decision; Anthony Taylor slipped past Chris Avila via majority decision; Curtis Millender dominated Moses Murrietta by wide unanimous nod; Jay-Jay Wilson submitted Mario Navarro with a slick armbar at 2:48 of the second; A.J. Agarzarm took out Adel Altamimi with a triangle choke at 1:22 of the third; Aaron Pico bombed Daniel Carey out with punches 15 ticks into the second; and Joshua Jones easily toppled Brandon Bender via lopsided unanimous decision.