Bellator 279 features two title fights as the women’s featherweight and interim bantamweight belts are on the line. Cageside Press has its picks set.

Staff Writers
Mix vs. Horiguchi
MacFarlane vs. Kish
Archuleta vs. Stots
Cyborg vs. Blencowe
Chris Prawdzik (50-18)
Justin Gibbons (47-21)
Derek Kibler (25-12)
Jay Anderson (43-25)
Dan Doherty (38-25)
Eddie Law (41-27)

The main event of Bellator 279 is a rematch between featherweight champion Cris Cyborg and challenger Arlene Blencowe. Cyborg won by submission in their first fight and Blencowe got back on track with two wins since then. Cyborg has knocked out two more challengers since turning away Blencowe. All but one writer picked Cyborg.

The co-main event is a bantamweight grand prix matchup with the interim title on the line as Raufeon Stots faces Juan Archuleta. Archuleta, a former champion, is stepping in for the man who took the title from him, Sergio Pettis. Stots is 5-0 in Bellator and 17-1 in his career, only losing to current UFC standout Merab Dvalishvili. Stots was picked by four of six writers.

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane returns to the cage for the first time since losing her flyweight title. She’ll be taking on former UFC strawweight Justine Kish, attempting to improve her promotional record to 11-1. Kish’s UFC run was marred by injuries, going 3-4 from 2016 to 2021. She fell in her promotional debut to DeAnna Bennett. MacFarlane was unanimously picked.

Opening the Bellator 279 main card will be Kyoji Horiguchi and Patchy Mix. Horiguchi has been splitting time between Bellator and RIZIN since leaving the UFC in 2017, winning titles with both organizations, then vacating them due to injury. He is 1-2 in his last three, getting knocked out by Sergio Pettis last time out. Mix is 4-1 with four submissions in Bellator. Cageside Press is split at three picks apiece.