The highly anticipated 2022 Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix finally has it’s start date. It was announced yesterday that the Grand Prix will kick off in April and it’s starting with a bang with two massive fights.
At Bellator 279 which takes place on Saturday, April 23rd. The promotion is starting fast and furious with one fight on the card being Kyoji Horiguichi (29-4) – Patchy Mix (15-1).
Back at Bellator 272 in December, Horiguchi looked like he was well on his way to becoming bantamweight champion. He was completely dominating Sergio Pettis and it looked like he was going to recapture the Bellator title.
However, out of no where in the fourth round, Horiguchi was caught flush with a spinning back fist. That back fist knocked him out cold. The former champion is now 1-2 in his last three fights after only losing one fight between 2012 to 2019.
Standing in his way at Bellator 279 will be Patchy Mix. Mix had a title shot back in 2020 and like Horiguchi, it looked like he was on his way to becoming champion. However, he ultimately gassed out and lost to Juan Archuleta.
Since then, he’s bounced back strong with two straight wins. Most impressively was his win over James Gallagher at Bellator 270 where he submitted him. This matchup should be an absolute banger.
Bellator title on the line
Of course the headliner of the Bellator 279 event will be the bantamweight title fight between Sergio Pettis (22-5) and Raufeon Stots (17-1). Now, this fight has a very unique backstory that will unfold between now and the event.
Pettis and Stots are close friends and they both train together. With this event taking place, they are having to separate. All eyes will be on this fight between two men who know each other very well.
Pettis is a perfect 4-0 since joining Bellator after his stint with the UFC. He captured the title against Juan Archuleta and then defended it against Kyoji Horiguchi. Now, he’s going to be facing a teammate who has been surging.
Stots is a perfect 5-0 since joining Bellator. The only man to have defeated him in his professional career is top UFC contender Merab Dvalishvili. Now, he’s going to get the chance to finally prove that he’s the best bantamweight in the promotion.