Cris Cyborg vs. Sinead Kavanagh


Sinead Kavanagh and her handlers believe she can climb the mountain in front of her, even though it seems hardly anyone else does.

SBG Ireland Export will challenge Cristiane Justino for the undisputed Bellator MMA Women’s Featherweight Championship in the Bellator 271 Main Event this Saturday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Kavanagh enters the cage on a modest two-game winning streak. She last participated on October 3, 2020, when she made a three-round unanimous decision from Katharina Lehner at a Bellator show in Italy. Justino, meanwhile, has won four straight wins, three of which end, since his ill-fated meeting with Amanda Nunes almost three years ago. “Cyborg” last fought at Bellator 259, where she dealt Leslie Smith with punches in the fifth round of their May 21 rematch.

As Kavanagh and Justino approach their face-to-face showdown, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them so far:

36: Years for Justino, born July 9, 1985 in Curitiba, Brazil.

19: Justino wins by knockout or technical knockout, representing 79% of his career total (24). His long list of victims includes Smith (twice), Marloes Coenen (twice), Julia Budd, Yana Kunitskaya, Tonya Evinger, Gina Carano and Shayna Baszler. Justino has another victory by submission – she slapped Arlene Blencowe with a choke in the back at the Bellator 249 in October 2020 – and four more by decision.

7: Promotions in which Justino competed as a mixed martial artist. She went 6-1 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, 5-0 in Invicta Fighting Championships, 4-0 in Strikeforce, 4-0 in Storm Samurai, 3-0 in Bellator, 2-0 in EliteXC and 0-1 in Showfight.

ten: First-round stoppage wins over the Justino CV, two of the under-minute variety. She buried Charmaine Tweet with punches in 46 seconds at Invicta 11 on February 27, 2015 and took down Faith McMah with a knee to the body and follow-up punches in 45 seconds at Invicta 13 on July 9, 2015.

3 399: The days Justino spent as champion in the UFC (517), Bellator (657), Strikeforce (874) or Invicta (1,351). She claimed the Bellator Women’s Featherweight Crown with a technical fourth round knockout from the aforementioned Budd on January 25, 2020 and then retained it twice.

35: Years for Kavanagh, born in Inchicore, Ireland on February 1, 1986.

4: Kavanagh wins by KO or Technical KO, accounting for 57% of his career total (seven). Her full list of victims: Olga Rubin, Maria Casanova, Katarzyna Sadura and Hatice Ozyurt. Kavanagh holds three more wins by decision.

17: It took only seconds for Kavanagh to hit Ozyurt on his professional debut in September 2015 under the banner of the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts. It remains the fastest finish of his 11-fight career.

6: Consecutive calendar years in which Kavanagh made at least one appearance. She went 1-0 in 2015, 3-0 in 2016, 1-2 in 2017, 0-1 in 2018, 1-1 in 2019 and 1-0 in 2020.

.578: Cumulative percentage of wins between the four women – Smith, Blencowe, Janay Harding and Iony Razafiarison – who beat Kavanagh. They sport a combined record of 37-27-1.

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