Search icon


13th Nov 2021

Sinead Kavanagh on Cris Cyborg’s Squid Game tactics before Bellator defeat

Daniel Brown


This takes mind games to another level

Sinead Kavanagh has revealed that Cris Cyborg was leaving her ‘Squid Game cards’ ahead of their featherweight title fight at Bellator 271.

The pair faced off for the featherweight title at Bellator 271, on Friday night, with Cyborg scoring a TKO win near the end of the first round. The end, when it came, was gruesome as the champ connected with two flush right-handers and went in with hammer fists before the referee waved it off.

Ahead of the fight, the Dubliner had labelled Cyborg’s “mind games” as “horrible”, revealing that the Brazilian has been leaving Squid Game-inspired cards with her face on them around the hotel during fight week in Florida.

Squid Game – one of 2021’s most watched TV shows – sees fictional characters compete in games in a bid to be the last player left alive to take home a cash prize. In the show, organisers of the games leave specific cards for potential participants, inviting them to risk their lives to play a number of different ‘games’.

The 35-year-old has revealed that Cyborg has been leaving her own version of the cards around the hotel in an attempt to intimidate her.

“They’re tagging me in that suplex video, she’s out running in her sweat gear at two o’clock in the afternoon, blistering heat and they’re out running,” she said. Me and my missus were out walking past and they’re videoing it. She has these cards, these Squid Game cards with her face on them.

“She’s leaving them everywhere I go. Leaving them on my corner. Leaving them on my floor. She’s trying to play mind games, trying to break me, but she can’t. That’s what she does to her opponents.”

She added: “I just use it as fuel. They’re sitting beside me and laughing at me. Doing all these horrible things. It’s fuel for me.”

For her part, Cyborg denied trying to get under the Kavanagh’s skin. The 36-year-old suggested the cards were for her fans, rather than her opponent – claiming that it was her team who had control over her social media during fight camps.

“It’s my team giving away the cards for my fans. Sinead, I respect her, I respect her as a fighter and I’m very excited to fight her,” she said. “I stay out of social media in camps. I let my team focus on this. I focus on my fight and my training.”

Cyborg now has four finishes in her last four fights, while Kavanagh – the first Irishwoman to compete for a major MMA title – drops to 7-5 in her career.

Related links: