Bellator’s return to Hawaii next month is a double header, with Bellator 278 and Bellator 279 taking place on April 22 and 23, respectively, at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena.
On Thursday, promotion officials released the full cards (subject to change) for the highly anticipated events, which see Bellator MMA return to the island state for the first time since 2019.
As previously reported, Bellator 278 will be topped by a flyweight title fight, which will see champ Juliana Velasquez defend her title against two-time UFC title challenger Liz Carmouche. Joining that world championship bout will be the kickoff of Bellator’s bantamweight grand prix, with a wild card bout featuring Josh Hill (21-4) vs. Enrique Barzola (17-5-2) set as the evening’s co-feature.
A second wild card bout will also feature on the main card, and sees the undefeated Jornel Lugo (8-0), ranked #9 in the weight class, up against Danny Sabatello (11-1).
The wild card bouts were necessitated by the withdrawals of champ Sergio Pettis, and James Gallagher. As a result, the winner of Hill vs. Barzola will move on to face Magomed Magomedov, while the Lugo vs. Sabatello winner will be paired up with Leandro Higo.
Bellator 278 currently features the following bouts, as announced by the promotion:
Bellator 278: Velasquez vs. Carmouche
Juliana Velasquez (c) vs. Liz Carmouche – for the Bellator MMA women’s flyweight championship
Josh Hill vs. Enrique Barzola – bantamweight grand prix wild card bout
Jornel Lugo vs. Danny Sabatello – bantamweight grand prix wild card bout
Christian Edwards vs. Grant Neal
Manny Muro vs. Nate Andrews
Weber Almeida vs. Fabricio Franco
Jared Scoggins vs. Cee Jay Hamilton
Makoa Cooper vs. Blake Perry
Bellator 279, meanwhile, is topped by a women’s featherweight fight featuring the previously reported pairing of Cris Cyborg vs. Arlene Blencowe. With Sergio Pettis out of the bantamweight grand prix, Juan Archuleta will face Raufeon Stots for an interim title in the opening round of the tournament. That serves as the co-main event, and was also revealed prior to Thursday’s announcement.
The full line-up for Bellator 279 breaks down as follows:
Bellator 279: Cyborg vs. Blencowe 2
Cris Cyborg vs. Arlene Blencowe – for the Bellator MMA women’s featherweight championship
Juan Archuleta vs. Raufeon Stots – for the Bellator MMA interim bantamweight championship / bantamweight grand prix opening round
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Justine Kish
Patchy Mix vs. Kyoji Horiguchi – bantamweight grand opening round
Lance Gibson Jr. vs. Nainoa Dung
Justin Gonzalez vs. Kai Kamaka III
Goiti Yamauchi vs. Levan Chokheli
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Yancy Medeiros
Keoni Diggs vs. Bobby King
Randi Field vs. Maraya Miller