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Bellator MMA returns to Hawaii for a stacked two-night doubleheader on April 22-23

Bellator MMA is heading back to Hawaii, and the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion is bringing along several big fights spread over two events on back-to-back nights on April 22 and 23, 2022.

According to the promotion, no fights have been announced for Bellator 278 just yet, though it is scheduled to go down on Friday, April 22 inside Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Bellator 279 — which is set for Sat. April 23 — will feature a pair of thrilling championship fights. In the main event of the evening, current 135-pound champion Sergio Pettis will defend his title against Raufeon Stots in the opening round of the Bantamweight Grand Prix.

Pettis is coming off his first-ever title defense, knocking out Kyoji Horiguchi in the fourth round of Bellator 272 (highlights), his fifth straight win. As for Stots (No. 3), he is on a nine-fight win streak, which includes winning his first five fights under the Bellator banner. The two men train together at Roufousport.

In the co-main event, women’s Featherweight champion Cris Cyborg will defend her title one more time against Arlene Blencowe. The two initially threw down at Bellator 249 In Oct. 2020, with Cyborg earning a second-round submission win. Blencowe earned her way back to another title fight by scoring back-to-back wins over Dayana Silva and Pam Sorenson.

Also, the aforementioned Kyoji Horiguchi will face off against Patchy Mix in the opening fight of the $1 million Bantamweight tournament. Mix is coming off a submission win over James Gallagher (see it), while Horiguchi is looking to bounce back after his knockout loss (spinning backfist) to Pettis.

In further action, Hawaii’s own Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will face off against Justine Kish in women’s Flyweight action. Macfarlane — the former 125-pound champion — hasn’t competed since she coughed up her title to Juliana Vasquez at Bellator 254 in Dec. 2020, her first-ever defeat. Kish, meanwhile, is on a three-fight losing streak, which includes a loss to DeAnna Bennett in her Bellator debut just last month.


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