Gympie-bred Bellator MMA fighter Arlene Blencowe has put her hand up to fight Cris Cyborg.
Gympie-bred Bellator MMA fighter Arlene Blencowe has put her hand up to fight Cris Cyborg.

Gympie’s ‘Angerfist’ ready for the fight of her life against Cyborg

MMA: Gympie-born fighter Arlene “Angerfist” Blencowe is “number one on the list” to fight new Bellator women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, according to company president Scott Coker.

Ex-UFC champ Cyborg made her Bellator debut in frightening fashion over the weekend, unseating the incumbent Julia Budd with an emphatic Round 4 TKO in Inglewood, California.

Blencowe immediately pressed her claim as the next in line to fight the headline-grabbing new champion, telling Cyborg “I’ll see you soon” in an Australia Day-themed Instagram post.

She followed that up be reposting Coker’s announcement that she would be the one most likely to get the next title shot.

On Wednesday she raised the stakes even higher, sharing footage of Cyborg’s devastating UFC title loss to current champ Amanda Nunes in December 2018.

“I’ve had the last couple of days just to think about everything. I remember saying when I first saw Cyborg fight ‘I’m gonna fight her one day’ and here we are, seven years down the track fighting for a world title,” Blencowe said.

“My whole career I’ve sort of been eyeing off a fight with Cyborg, she’s been such a dominant champion for years. Now I’m getting my career fight with her.

“I know going into this fight I’ll be a massive underdog … so (the footage) was pretty much saying everyone’s beatable. I’m known for heavy hands and a fight’s a fight.”

At the post-fight press conference Coker said Blencowe was the hot favourite to fight Cyborg next, but further negotiations with the 34-year-old Brazilian and her manager Audie Attar were needed first.

“We have a couple of girls in my mind who can step up and fight her,” Coker said.

“Arlene Blencowe is … I didn’t want to say it but she’s number one on that list. I think she’s got a record of 13 (wins) and 7 (losses), she has a lot of experience … so if she wants to do it we’ll get it on.

“When I was walking in here Rich (Bellator Vice President of Talent Relations Rich Chou) told me that she’s already … saying ‘I wanna fight Cyborg next’. That doesn’t mean Cyborg will take it or it’s put together by any means, it’s just one of the girls that wants to step up and take it.”

Blencowe, 36, has come close but never held the Bellator world title, losing to Budd by contentious split decision in December 2017.

“Angerfist” is riding a three-fight win streak, with the latest coming against former UFC contender Leslie Smith in November.

Cyborg, real name Cristiane Justino, is one of the most accomplished female MMA fighters of all time.

With her win over Budd she became the first fighter in history, male or female, to become a Grand Slam Champion, with title reigns as the UFC, Strikeforce and Invicta FC world featherweight champion over her 22-win career.