Bellator and Scott Coker tried to make it a shocking announcement, but the signing of Cris Cyborg to a contract might have been one of the worst kept secrets in MMA. However, the former UFC champion now has a new home, reuniting with Coker from their days together in Strikeforce. According to a press release, the multi-year, multi-fight deal is "the largest of its kind in women's MMA history."
"I have worked with countless athletes over my thirty-plus years of promoting combat sports, but there is no one quite like 'Cyborg'," Coker said. "Her ability to excite the crowd from the moment she makes her walk to the cage is special, and having had the pleasure of promoting several of her fights in the past, I am looking forward to the opportunity of promoting her once again. 'Cyborg' is the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport and she will be a perfect fit here at Bellator, where champion Julia Budd and the other women that make up best female featherweight division in the world have eagerly awaited her arrival."
Cyborg, a former Strikeforce and Invicta FC champion, finished her UFC contract with a victory over Felicia Spencer this past July at UFC 240. She suffered her first loss in 13 years when Amanda Nunes bested her last year for the featherweight title.
Back in 2009, Cyborg claimed the inaugural Strikeforce featherweight title with a victory over Gina Carano. The fight helped give women's MMA a place in the combat sports landscape. Since, the 34-year-old Brazilian has scored wins over the likes of Holly Holm, Tonya Evinger, Marloes Coenen and Leslie Smith.
In signing with Bellator, Cyborg joins featherweight champion Julia Budd, Olga Rubin, Arlene Blencowe, Janay Harding, Smith and others.