Bellator 259 Recap: Cyborg’s Dominance and Vanderford’s Rise

Bellator 259, held at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, was a night of thrilling fights and memorable performances. The event was headlined by the women’s featherweight title bout between Cris Cyborg and Leslie Smith, and featured a key middleweight contest between Austin Vanderford and Fabian Edwards.

Cyborg’s Dominance Continues

In the main event, Cris Cyborg defended her featherweight title against Leslie Smith. This was a rematch of their 2016 clash at UFC 198, which Cyborg won. This time, the fight was no different. Cyborg dominated Smith, winning by TKO in the fifth round. This marked Cyborg’s second successful title defense since winning the belt in January of the previous year.

Vanderford’s Unbeaten Streak

The co-main event saw a key middleweight contest between Austin Vanderford and Fabian Edwards. Vanderford, who was ranked #3 in Bellator’s official rankings, was looking to keep his perfect professional record intact. Edwards, ranked #4, was looking to rebound from the first setback of his career. Vanderford emerged victorious, winning by unanimous decision and maintaining his unbeaten streak.

Other Notable Fights

Former Bellator Bantamweight Champion Darrion Caldwell made his return to bantamweight against Leandro Higo. In a closely contested fight, Higo won by split decision. This was a rematch of their 2018 bout, which Caldwell had won.

A women’s flyweight bout between Valerie Loureda and Hannah Guy also drew attention. Guy won the fight by unanimous decision, marking a significant upset.


Bellator 259 was a night of intense action and surprising outcomes. The event showcased the dominance of Cris Cyborg, the rise of Austin Vanderford, and the resilience of fighters like Leandro Higo and Hannah Guy. As the dust settles, fans and fighters alike look forward to the next thrilling event in the Bellator calendar.


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