If you have any question about how big of a star Cris Cyborg is in the MMA world, look no further than her contract with Bellator as confirmation.
The former Strikeforce and UFC Champion will make her Bellator debut as she challenges champion Julia Budd for her title on Saturday at the Forum in Inglewood, California at Bellator 238.
Cyborg was released from her contract with UFC in 2019 after a long beef with Dana White. After a brief stint as a free agent, Cyborg signed what Bellator President Scott Coker described as an incentive-laden deal.
In fact, if Cyborg wins on Saturday and continues to stack victories, she could make millions, per Coker who spoke with The Athletic.
“This could be the single biggest contract in the history of MMA if she continues to win and takes opponents out,” said Coker. “Her contract is incentivized unlike any fighter we have.”
This fight could be a tough one for Cyborg. Budd is no pushover. She could be champion, or at the very least, a top contender in any organization.
If Cyborg is victorious, a possible clash with former UFC contender Cat Zingano is possible. That’s a fight that we never saw while the two were in the UFC. Injuries have always seemed to prevent Zingano from getting another opportunity at a title after she was wiped out by Ronda Rousey back in February 2015. Unfortunately for Zingano, that loss kicked off the worst section of her career.
Zingano lost three fights in a row, missed almost two years, and has lost four of her last five. Zingano hasn’t competed since her December 2018 loss to Meagan Anderson, and she turns 38 in July.
However, she does still have a name.
That will likely be enough to make a fight with Cyborg, especially if Zingano can get a win in the meantime.
What Cyborg does for competition after that is a bit of a mystery. Bellator’s women’s featherweight roster is as light as other organizations. Hopefully, Bellator will work overtime to sign more formidable competition so that Cyborg can get the dance partners she needs to maximize her deal.
The fight with Budd is definitely a good start.