Bellator 235 kicks off a packed weekend of MMA action headlined by Josh Barnett’s return to action. Cageside Press has its picks set.

Staff Writers
Davis vs. Cisneros
Claxton vs. Akeo
Lara vs. Arteaga
Misech vs. Perez
Barnett vs. Markes
Joe McDonagh (173-100)
Keith Shillan (135-83)
Josh Evanoff (164-112)
Dan Doherty (165-116)
Jay Anderson (164-117)
Mike McClory (116-88)

Bellator 235’s main event features Josh Barnett’s return to the cage after over three years away from the sport. Barnett was last seen in the UFC Hamburg main event when he defeated Andrei Arlovski via submission. Greeting him will be Ronny Markes. Markes was on the light heavyweight roster of PFL this year but was removed after missing weight multiple times. All but one writer picked Barnett.

The co-main event features the promotional debut of Erik Perez as he takes on Toby Misech. Perez is coming off a pair of stoppage wins in Combate Americas that followed a 6-2 run in the UFC. Misech is a Hawaiian fighter who is 1-1 in Bellator after an appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series. Four of six writers picked Perez.

Veta Arteaga battles Alejandra Lara in a battle of flyweight contenders. Arteaga is 4-3 in Bellator and most recently fought for the title against Ilima-Lei MacFarlane. Lara is 2-2 in the promotion and is coming off a first-round stoppage victory. Four of six writers picked Arteaga.

Tywan Claxton looks to bounce back from his first career loss when he takes on Braydon Akeo. Claxton was defeated in the first round of the featherweight grand prix by Emmanuel Sanchez in September. Akeo is 3-0 and making his Bellator debut. Claxton was unanimously picked.

Wrestling standout Joey Davis takes on veteran Chris Cisneros to open up the main card. Davis is 6-0, all in Bellator, and has stopped four of his opponents. Cisneros is 19-10 and has won his last two fights. Davis was unanimously picked.

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