Cris Cyborg will fight for the Bellator title in her promotional debut.
Women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd will defend her belt against ex-UFC titleholder Cyborg at a Jan. 25 Bellator event at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The Los Angeles Times first reported the news Friday. Bellator is expected to announce the fight on its Bellator 228 broadcast Saturday night.
Budd has defended the 145-pound belt three times since winning it in 2017. In her last fight, “The Jewel” defeated Olga Rubin via first-round TKO in July.
Cyborg signed with Bellator last month after a seven-fight run with the UFC, in which she captured the women’s featherweight championship. Cyborg parted ways with the promotion after a win over Felicia Spencer — which was the last fight on her contract — in July.
There has been a long history of turmoil between her and the UFC brass, particularly president Dana White. Also, Cyborg worked with Bellator president Scott Coker under the Strikeforce banner years ago, so Bellator seemed like a natural fit for the Brazilian.
Cyborg lost the UFC title in 2018 to Amanda Nunes, a current two-division champion in the UFC.