Bellator’s return to Honolulu, Hawaii, USA is set. The promotion is expected to do a two-night event series next month, holding shows on April 22nd and 23rd at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena, per Christian Shimabuku of KHON.
While nothing has been reported about the first card – Bellator 278 – yet, many high-profile bouts have been confirmed for Bellator 279.
Bellator To Kick Off Bantamweight Grand Prix
Bellator’s previously announced bantamweight tournament is set to start at Bellator 279.
In the biggest of the two tournament fights on the card, Bellator Bantamweight Champion Sergio Pettis will meet Raufeon Stots.
Pettis became Bellator champ last year, dethroning former titleholder Juan Archuleta. He has since defended the belt once, scoring a spinning backfist knockout against Kyoji Horiguchi in December 2021.
He will now face Stots, who has yet to lose through five fights in Bellator. His last two wins have come against experienced names, defeating Josh Hill and Magomed Magomedov.
In the other fight, former champ Kyoji Horiguchi will face Patchy Mix.
Horiguchi will be fighting to bounce back from the loss he took to Pettis last year. The RIZIN and UFC vet is best known for claiming Bellator’s belt in 2019, beating Darrion Caldwell to earn the title.
Mix failed to earn a belt against Juan Archuleta in 2020. However, a successful tournament run would make him a champion finally. He enters the bracket with four wins in the promotion.
Cyborg To Rematch Blencowe
Dominant Bellator Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg will look to defend her belt for the fourth time when facing Arlene Blencowe in a rematch.
Cyborg first met Blencowe in October 2020, where she submitted her in the second round of a title fight. Cyborg’s dominance has only continued since then, stopping Leslie Smith and Sinead Kavanagh in title bouts.
Blencowe is getting the second title bout after scoring two wins last year, beating Dayana Silva and Pam Sorenson.
Macfarlane To Return
Returning for the first time since losing her flyweight belt, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will meet Justine Kish on the card.
Macfarlane had her undefeated record broken last year, as Juliana Velasquez beat her via unanimous decision to claim the Bellator Flyweight Championship. This was Macfarlane’s first loss through 12 pro fights.
She will now face Kish, a former UFC fighter hunting for her first Bellator win. Kish lost her Bellator debut last month against DeAnna Bennett.
The fight also marks Macfarlane’s return to her home state of Hawaii.
Bout 4: Sergio Pettis (22-5) vs. Raufeon Stots (17-1) (Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)
Bout 3: Kyoji Horiguchi (29-4) vs. Patchy Mix (15-1) (Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)
Bout 2: Cris Cyborg (25-2) vs. Arlene Blencowe (15-8) (Bellator Featherweight Championship)
Bout 1: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-1) vs. Justine Kish (7-5) (Flyweight)