For the second time in a row, Leandro Higo could not find the 136-pound bantamweight cap on the scales.
The Bellator 259 main event will see Cristiane Justino put her featherweight championship on the line against fellow women's mixed martial arts veteran Leslie Smith. The latest Bellator MMA title fight is now set after the weigh-ins took place. While the headliners both made championship weight, the same could not be said for every competitor on the card.
"Cyborg" may not have the invincible aura she had before losing to Amanda Nunes in 51 seconds, but she's been able to bounce back from her second professional defeat nicely. She claimed the Bellator featherweight title in her first fight with the promotion by battering Julia Budd, and went on to submit an overmatched Arlene Blencowe in her first title defense. She'll now go against a familiar face in Smith, who Justino (23-2, 1 NC) needed 81 seconds to dispatch in 2016. "Cyborg" officially stepped on the scale at 144.6 pounds.
Smith exited the Ultimate Fighting Championship on a two-fight win streak. Her Bellator debut resulted in a majority decision over Sinead Kavanagh, but she then dropped a decision to Blencowe four months later. She bounced back with a decision win over Amanda Bell, which earned her a crack at the belt and the rematch against an old foe. Smith (12-8-1) officially weighed 143.6 pounds for the bout.
The weigh-ins were not free from drama, as two fighters missed weight: Higo (137.5), who came in 1.5 pounds heavy for his co-headlining bantamweight clash, and Leah McCourt (149.4), who tipped the scales 3.4 pounds above the featherweight limit. Both fighters have been fined percentages of their purses, and the matches are currently on schedule to proceed as catchweights. Additionally, the light heavyweight tilt between Christian Edwards and Ben Parrish was canceled despite both fighters making weight, as Edwards was not cleared by the commission to compete.
Bellator 259’s main card will air Friday exclusively on Showtime starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Meanwhile, the prelims will stream on YouTube starting at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT.
Bellator 259 Weigh-in Results:Cristiane Justino (144.6) vs. Leslie Smith (143.6)
Darrion Caldwell (135.6) vs. Leandro Higo (137.5)*
Austin Vanderford (185.3) vs. Fabian Edwards (185.5)
Jaleel Willis (170.3) vs. Maycon Mendonca (170.9)
Christian Edwards (202.7) vs. Ben Parrish (205.3)
Saad Awad (155.1) vs. Nate Andrews (155.7)
Grant Neal (204.4) vs. Tyree Fortune (205.3)
Sumiko Inaba (125.5) vs. Kristina Katsikis (125.8)
Aviv Gozali (155.7) vs. Sean Felton (154.3)
Valerie Loureda (125.8) vs. Hannah Guy (125.2)
Davion Franklin (264.8) vs. Tyler King (246.3)
Janay Harding (145.1) vs. Leah McCourt (149.4)**
Brett Johns (135.4) vs. Danny Sabatello (135.6)
Alfie Davis (155.1) vs. Alexandr Shabliy (154.8)
* Higo missed weight by 1.5 pounds and has been fined 20 percent of his purse.
** McCourt missed weight by 3.4 pounds and has been fined a percentage of her purse.