Noteworthy moments at Bellator 226: Cris Cyborg makes an appearance, Rampage Jackson’s scuffle

Taking a glance at the main card wouldn’t justify how eventful Bellator 226 became in San Jose at the SAP Center with many storylines plotted. Here are the three biggest moments:

Featherweight Cris Cyborg brought the buzz all night

Cyborg held a meet-and-greet along with autograph signings at 5 p.m. local time nearby section 127. Fans lined up for hours – queues corralled the stretch of concession stands.

Fans geared Cyborg Nation apparel and represented their Brazilian flags as they roam through the corridors. As the former UFC featherweight champion made her way to cageside, supporters rushed to shake her hand and ask for selfies with her.

“Everybody stopped me, all my fans said: ‘Cris, I’m really happy [that] you came to Bellator. You weren’t too happy,’ and then they would say ‘f–k Dana White.’

They always say this to me and shake my hand, and are really happy for me,” Cyborg said. “I always give a lot to my fans because everything that happened in my career [it’s] because of them. The fans make the fighters.”

Ryan Bader (27-5) vs Cheick Kongo (30-10-2): heavyweight world title ends in no-contest; Rampage Jackson’s skirmish with Bader
Landed a couple of shots backed up the Frenchman Kongo, landed a takedown, eventually had Kongo against the cage – that’s where an accidental eye poke by Bader stopped the fight with a little more than a minute left in the first round.

As the heavyweight champion was walking out of the cage, Jackson whispered that Bader did the eye poke on purpose. There’s between a lot of animosity between both fighters since Bader beat Jackson via unanimous decision back in February 2012 at UFC 144 in Japan.

Bader spoke about the incident in details at the press conference:

“We went through the whole debacle about that it was an eye poke and not a nose poke. I got a video of it in my pocket He comes at me and starts saying ‘f—k you’ and all that kind of stuff,” he said. “I walked back into the middle of the cage and said let’s go. He got held by my dad I think, and that was it.”

Bader said he felt that he was minutes away on defending his heavyweight title and moving on. There are talks about the heavyweight champion going down back to light heavyweight.

“I feel like I owe it to the light heavyweight division to go defend that title, but I’m having a lot of fun at heavyweight,” he said. “At the same time, I want to keep both titles and obviously that has to be defended.”
Sole women’s bout: featherweight Jessica Borga (3-2) defeats Amber Leibrock (3-4) in her Bellator debut

Leibrock came into the night with three wins and three losses, losing her last two Bellator fights. It was a fight that prepared extensively by picking up two Muay Thai fights and improving her wrestling with Alpha Male.

Within the first minute Leibrock attempted a front kick and Borga caught it, pushed her towards the cage. Leibrock was able to interchange positions with “The Black Widow” but within the 45-minute Borga earned a takedown transitioning to mount. Leibrock gave her back, attempting an escape, but she got flattened out as she got submitted by an arm bar.

https://mobile.twitter.com/VonPreux/status/1170503774428966913

In her Bellator debut, Borga earned her first pro submission victory, other have come from ground and pound and a striking stoppage.