Leslie Smith laughs at the odds, no matter how steep they may be.
“The Peacemaker” will rematch Cristiane Justino when she challenges the Brazilian juggernaut for the undisputed Bellator MMA women’s featherweight championship in the Bellator 259 headliner on Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Smith suffered a first-round technical knockout loss to “Cyborg” at UFC 198 in 2016. The stakes are much higher in their sequel.
Bellator 259 “Cyborg vs. Smith 2”—which airs live on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT—also features a bantamweight co-main event between Darrion Caldwell and Leandro Higo, a middleweight tilt pairing Fabian Edwards with Austin Vanderford, a welterweight scrap pitting Jaleel Willis against Maycon Mendonca and a light heavyweight affair matching Christian Edwards with Ben Parrish. The entire undercard will stream to the Bellator MMA YouTube channel at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT, a lightweight confrontation between Saad Awad and Nate Andrews anchoring the nine-fight slate of prelims.
A closer look at the Bellator 259 particulars:
THE LINEUP145: Cristiane Justino vs. Leslie Smith
135: Darrion Caldwell vs. Leandro Higo
185: Fabian Edwards vs. Austin Vanderford
170: Jaleel Willis vs. Maycon Mendonca
205: Christian Edwards vs. Ben Parrish
155: Saad Awad vs. Nate Andrews
205: Grant Neal vs. Tyree Fortune
125: Sumiko Inaba vs. Kristina Katsikis
155: Aviv Gozali vs. Sean Felton
125: Valerie Loureda vs. Hannah Guy
265: Davion Franklin vs. Tyler King
145: Leah McCourt vs. Janay Harding
135: Brett Johns vs. Danny Sabatello
155: Alexander Shabliy vs. Alfie Davis
THE RUNDOWN• Rivalries: Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino
• Bellator 259 Virtual Media Day
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