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Bellator 249: Tale of the tape with Cris Cyborg in action

Cris Cyborg defends her featherweight title against Arlene Blencowe and Patricky 'Pitbull' Freire takes on Jaleel Willis - live on Sky Sports Mix from 3am UK time Friday morning

Cris Cyborg (blue gloves) in the cage after defeating Julia Budd (not pictured) in their featherweight world title fight at The Forum on January 25, 2020 in Inglewood, California. Cyborg won by TKO in the 4th round

Bellator returns to the 'Fightsphere' in the early hours of Friday morning, with MMA legend Cris Cyborg facing Australian Arlene Blencowe.

It will be the first time Cyborg has defended her featherweight title since winning the belt back in January over Julia Budd.

Her opponent - tough Aussie Arlene Blencowe - heads into the contest in decent form, winning six of her last seven fights, which included five knockouts. 'Angerfist' will be hoping to upset the odds and inflict Cyborg's second defeat of her career.

We take a look at the stats and facts concerning the main event, as well as the rest of the card...

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Cris Cyborg (22-2, 1 NC) vs Arlene Blencowe (13-7)

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Cris Cyborg defeated Julia Budd to become the first fighter to claim title belts in four major MMA organisations
  • Cyborg made history in January by becoming the only fighter in MMA to win titles in Bellator, UFC, Invicta FC and Strikeforce.
  • 13 of her previous 17 fights have been world title fights, the first back in 2009 when she took on Gina Carano for the Strikeforce women's featherweight championship.
  • Cyborg has never won an MMA fight by submission.
  • 18 of Cyborg's 22 wins have come via knockout, with 10 of those coming in the first round.
  • Arlene Blencowe made her pro-MMA debut in April of 2013, losing to Kyra Purcell via submission.
  • The Australian is a former two-time boxing world champion - with a record of four wins and four losses.
  • Holds the record for fastest finish and knockout in women's Bellator history, beating Amanda Bell in just 22 seconds at Bellator 224.

Patricky Freire (23-9) vs Jaleel Willis (13-2)

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The self-proclaimed king of Bellator KOs, Patricky Freire is back in action this Friday at 3am, live on Sky Sports Mix
  • Patricky 'Pitbull' Freire is the older brother of current Bellator featherweight and lightweight world champion Patricio Freire.
  • Competing in his 22nd Bellator bout, he will tie second with his brother for most appearances in company history.
  • Freire has 15 wins by knockout, with eight coming in the first round.
  • With a knockout win over Willis, Freire will have the most KO victories in Bellator history.
  • This is Jaleel Willis' second appearance in Bellator, his first was back in 2016 where he beat Omar Johnson at Bellator 162.
  • Willis is a former LFA welterweight champion and is currently on four-fight win streak.

Ricky Bandejas (13-4) vs Leandro Higo (19-5)

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Watch as Ricky Bandejas shows off his quick hands in these wins over Ahmet Kayretli and Frans Mlambo
  • Bandejas is trained by MMA legend Muhammed 'King Mo' Lawal.
  • Made his Bellator debut in 2018 by knocking out James Gallagher in the first round of Bellator 204.
  • Bandejas' previous five wins have come via knockout.
  • Has a bachelor's degree in accounting from OCC.
  • Higo made his pro MMA debut in May of 2006 and is a former LFA bantamweight champion.
  • Five of Higo's previous six wins by submission have come via a rear-naked choke.

Saad Awad (23-13) vs Mandel Nallo (7-1)

Paul Daley defeated Saad Awad via TKO
  • Awad will be making his 22nd appearance in the Bellator cage, he will tie for the second-most appearances in company history behind Chandler and David Rickels, both on 23.
  • Awad is on a losing streak of four fights, his last win was back in 2018 against Ryan Couture at Bellator 201.
  • At the age of 37, Awad is 36-fight veteran with 21 of those in Bellator.
  • Nallo made his Bellator debut in 2019, defeating Alec Williams via a first-round knockout in just 18 seconds.
  • All seven of his wins have come by KO or submission and Nallo has never been to the judges as a pro.

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Check out these finishes from the likes of Cris Cyborg, Patricky Freire and Ricky Bandejas ahead of Bellator 249

Bellator 249 is live at 3am (BST) this Friday on Sky Sports Mix with Cris Cyborg vs Arlene Blencowe and Patricky 'Pitbull' Freire vs Jaleel Willis.

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