Tomorrow night on the main card of Bellator 279, the Bantamweight Grand Prix will officially kick off. In the co-main event the interim bantamweight championship is on the line as former bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta (25-3) as he takes on Raufeon Stots (17-1).
Now, originally Stots was supposed to face off against teammate and reigning Bellator champion Sergio Pettis. However, Pettis tore his ACL which forced him to withdrawal from the fight and the Grand Prix. Thus, we have this interim title fight.
Now, Stots takes on the man who Pettis beat for the title. Stots has been sensational since joining Bellator back in 2019. He’s been perfect at 5-0 and overall he’s won nine fights in a row leading up to tomorrow night.
However, he’s facing his toughest test to date in Juan Archuleta. Like Stots, Juan Archuleta has been sensational since joining Bellator. After signing back in 2018, he’s gone 7-2 which included capturing the bantamweight title.
His two losses have come against Sergio Pettis and at featherweight against Patricio Pitbull. He’s one of the best in the promotion for a reason and he’s ready to get back to the Bellator title tomorrow night.
Bellator 279 Prediction
I love this matchup and I think the two bantamweight fights are the true headliners for tomorrow night’s Bellator card. Raufeon Stots might be the best bantamweight in the promotion.
His wrestling and overall skillset is something to watch. He’s truly sensational with the pace that he can put on guys and his combination of speed and technique is fun to watch. His lone loss was due to a spinning backfist where he got caught. Outside of getting caught that one time, he’s been dominant his whole career.
However, claiming the interim Bellator title is not going to be an easy task. Juan Archuleta has tremendous skills and he’s very good on the feet. He trains with one of the best in the world in TJ Dillashaw and he’s going to be prepared for tomorrow night.
One thing we know about Juan Archuleta is that he’s battle tested and can go five rounds. We haven’t had to see that from Stots in his Bellator career. That might play a factor tomorrow night just like it did when Archuleta fought Patchy Mix.
However, I think this fight goes down differently. I think that Stots bags the first three rounds before the final two get very competitive. In the end, this goes to the scorecards and Stots has his crowning moment becoming Bellator’s interim bantamweight champion.
Prediction: Raufeon Stots by Unanimous Decision