Tomorrow night on the main card of Bellator 279, the Bantamweight Grand Prix will kick off. One of the featured bouts pairs former bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi (29-4) against former title challenger Patchy Mix (15-1).
Out of all the opening matchups of the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix, this is the one I’m the most excited for. In one corner, you have the former bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi.
Horiguchi won the Bellator title back in 2019 and then vacated the belt. He returned to Bellator in December to try and win it back against Sergio Pettis. Horiguchi was dominating Pettis through three rounds. However, he was caught with spinning back fist in the fourth round and lost by KO.
Now, he’s looking to get back on track. Standing in his way is the grappling phenom Patchy Mix. Last time we saw Mix was back at Bellator 270 when he submitted James Gallagher in the third round of their fight.
Mix has won back-to-back fights since losing in his title fight against Juan Archuleta. This is a really tough fight for Mix, but if he can win, he will prove that he’s going to be a very tough out in the Bellator Grand Prix.
Bellator 279 Prediction
To me, this is going to be one of those fights that’s decided based on where it takes place. Let me be clear, Kyoji Horiguchi is one of the best fighters in the world, not just in Bellator.
He was walking through Sergio Pettis prior to getting clipped in December. Outside of that loss, he only has two other defeats since 2012. One was to Kai Asakura, a loss he’s already avenged, and the other was to arguably the greatest of all time in Demetrious Johnson.
Patchy Mix is insanely dangerous on the ground. If this Bellator 279 contest hits the mat, Mix can win by submission. However, I think we are going to see a lot of striking and it’s hard for me to see Mix outstriking Horiguchi.
Mix will hold his own, but I expect Horiguchi to get the win here. Too much skill and I think he shows tomorrow night why he should be the favorite to win this Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix.
Prediction: Kyoji Horiguchi by Unanimous Decision