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MMA fighter Darina Mazdyuk, who shot to fame after beating a giant male opponent in a controversial cross-gender fight, was defeated on her Bellator debut as she fell to a second-round TKO loss in Moscow.

Mazdyuk was propelled to global attention in MMA circles when she took on blogger Grigory Chistyakov in an intergender ‘freakshow’ bout in 2020, finishing her 529-pound (240kg) rival after a barrage of punches in the first round.

Dubbed ‘The Red Queen’, Russian fighter Mazdyuk earned a Bellator deal off the back of the attention that fight earned, and admitted this week that her conscious efforts to build up hype had paid off.

But returning to more conventional forms of combat in the cage (and against a far smaller opponent), the flame-haired Mazdyuk failed to impress on her Bellator bow as she met Poland’s Katarzyna Sadura in a flyweight bout at the VTB Arena in Moscow.

In front of an expectant home crowd for Mazdyuk, both fighters came out of the traps quickly in the first round, launching a flurry of punches and low-kicks but with neither doing significant damage.

By the early stages of the second round the pace had already slackened significantly, with Sadura enjoying more and more success – especially with her overhand right.

After the entire fight had remained on the feet, the 30-year-old Pole dropped a tired-looking Mazdyuk with a combination of punches inside the last two minutes of the round.

Sadura then followed up with hammerfists as Mazdyuk curled up, causing referee Kevin MacDonald to step in and stop the bout.

Bellator debutant Sadura improved her overall record to 5-4 with the win, while the 29-year-old Mazdyuk left the home crowd disappointed as she slipped to 4-2 overall.

The pair were fighting on the prelims of the Bellator 269 card headlined by the homecoming of Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko as he takes on number-two ranked heavyweight Tim Johnson of America.

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