Bellator 300: Cris Cyborg vs. Cat Zingano preview and prediction

Cris Cyborg has her toughest challenger in Bellator yet with Cat Zingano at UFC 300.
Cris Cyborg vs. Liz Carmouche
Cris Cyborg vs. Liz Carmouche / Lucan Noonan

Bellator 300 will see Cris "Cyborg" Justino take on Cat Zingano in what could be one of the greatest fights in Bellator's Women's Featherweight division. The promotions' best grappler at the weight class, Zingano, is 4-0 since joining the promotion. And even though she's 41, she's not shown to be slowing down.

She looks as good now, as she had in 2014 when she knocked off Amanda Nunes. And considering Justino is far more of a striker than Nunes was, and how much pure strikers struggle with wrestlers like Zingano, it stands to reason that Zingano will end up being one of, if not the biggest challenge for her since Justino joined Bellator.

That doesn't mean that Justino is already done, far from it. She's defeated the likes of Shayna Baszler, Tonya Evinger, Hitomi Akano, Hiroko Yamanki, Daria Ibragimova, and others who specialize in some sort of grabbling-based game.

And due to that, Justino has developed some really good takedown defense. That said, Zingano is the best she'll have ever faced in that arena. Even more so than Nunes, who defeated Justino via strikes. So while Justino has had experience against grapplers before, it's beyond fair to say that Zingano is the best she'll have ever seen in that realm.

So, can Justino stifle Zingano's ground game enough to get the win? That's going to be the question that has to be answered. Zingano is a very good wrestler and is very comfortable on the ground, something we've not, if ever seen, from Justino. Sure she can administer strikes to a downed opponent but she's not going to be the one shooting for a double-leg takedown or mounting anyone's back.

In fact, Justino only has one submission to her credit, against Arlene Blencowe in 2020. Blencowe, like Justino, is more known for her striking, so it wasn't exactly a tough matchup on the ground.

And while wrestlers seem to be able to do well against more pure-strikers, it's hard to imagine Justino getting beat when she's got such a wide range of angles to strike from. If Zingano goes for Justino's legs, she could end up eating a kick to the face just as easily as an uppercut.

Zingano is on upset alert, but our pick is still going to be the champion.

Winner: Justino by TKO

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