Arlene Blencowe Talks Growth Ahead of Bellator 279

Arlene Blencowe has never been shy about her title aspirations.

Video interview with Arlene Blencowe above

Arlene Blencowe has never been shy about her title aspirations. Evan after her loss to Cris Cyborg in 2020, she won her next two fights keeping her at the top of the list in Bellator’s women’s featherweight rankings. Having fought three times in 13 months, Blencowe was not expecting to be seeing Cyborg again so soon, but on April 23 she will have a shot at being champion again.

When Sinead Kavanagh and Leah McCourt fought in Dublin last February Kavanagh was announced as Cyborg’s next opponent as she was being carried out of the cage by her team. She tore her ACL during that fight and with Blencowe ranked at number one and no fight booked, it only makes sense to make this rematch happen.

MyMMANews was able to catch up with Blencowe last Friday, a week out from Bellator 279. Blencowe said, “I wasn’t expecting to hop back in the Bellator cage until, sort of the second half of this year. So, you know I’d sort of made plans for maybe a possible return to the boxing ring in the meantime.” 

Because of her number one ranking in the division, names like Kayla Harrison were floating around when it seemed her signing with Bellator was possible and of course, Cat Zingano was also a possible opponent. 

“There were other names being thrown around,” Blencowe said and added, “ I mean, obviously seeing as I am  the number one contender, I knew that eventually, it would happen but I definitely didn’t think it was going to be happening, you know April 23rd.”

Blencowe’s first fight with Cyborg happened at a strange time. It was October of 2020 when the world was still trying to figure out how to navigate through the COVID 19 pandemic. Because of that, Blencowe was far from her home in Australia and wound up being stuck in Albuquerque after the last time she and Cyborg fought. That gave her time to focus on making corrections on the lessons learned from the first fight.

“It was exactly what I needed in my fight career,” Blencowe said. “ I’m lucky that my kids are a bit older now. They understood the situation, I didn’t have any phone calls with tears begging me to come home. It was a great time for growth. For me as a fighter, everything back in Australia was closed. All the gyms were closed, Australia got a bit crazy and while all that was happening I was here, training and getting better.”

At Bellator 279, things will certainly be different. Not only does she get to compete for the title again in Hawaii, this time she will have her kids, friends, and family in-house at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Whatever was lacking the first time around, Blencowe seems to have the proper game plan in place and seems more than ready to showcase it at Bellator 279. Watch the full interview above and make sure to tune in to SHOWTIME on April 23 at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. HST for the event.

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Edward Carbajal
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor's degree in Communications. Along with over 30 years of martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour podcast, and also writes for Spectation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel