14 Oct [MMA] 
Bellator 249 predictions: Who's picking Arlene Blencowe to upset Cris Cyborg?
Cyborg
vs.
Blencowe
Freire
vs.
Willis
Bandejas
vs.
Higo
Awad
vs.
Nallo
MMA Junkie readers’
consensus picks
2020: 120-76
cyborg2020
Cyborg
(68%)
freire2020
Freire
(72%)
bandejas2020
Bandejas
(68%)
nallo2020
Nallo
(51%)
Dan Tom
@DanTomMMA
2020: 130-66
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
nallo2020
Nallo
Nolan King
@mma_kings
2020: 130-66
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
nallo2020
Nallo
Farah Hannoun
@Farah_Hannoun
2020: 129-67
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
awad2020
Awad
Danny Segura
@dannyseguratv
2020: 128-68
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
awad2020
Awad
Dave Doyle
@davedoylemma
2020: 127-69
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
nallo2020
Nallo
Mike Bohn
@MikeBohnMMA
2020: 126-70
trophy copy 2014 Champion
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
nallo2020
Nallo
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2020: 126-70
trophy copy 2017 Champion
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
nallo2020
Nallo
Simon Head
@simonhead
2020: 125-71
trophy copy 2019 Champion*
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
nallo2020
Nallo
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2020: 124-72
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
nallo2020
Nallo
George Garcia
@MMAjunkieGeorge
2020: 121-75
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
awad2020
Awad
Ken Hathaway
@kenshathaway
2020: 121-75
trophy copy 2018 Champion
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
awad2020
Awad
John Morgan
@MMAjunkieJohn
2020: 118-78
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
nallo2020
Nallo
Abbey Subhan
@kammakaze
2020: 117-79
cyborg2020
Cyborg
freire2020
Freire
bandejas2020
Bandejas
nallo2020
Nallo
Matt Erickson
@MMAjunkieMatt
2020: 79-117
blencowe2020
Blencowe
willis2020
Willis
higo2020
Higo
awad2020
Awad

Bellator is back Stateside this week for a Thursday event – which will be the promotion’s new normal – with the women’s featherweight title on the line.

Bellator 249 takes place Thursday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on CBS Sports Network following prelims on MMA Junkie.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, women’s 145-pound champion Cris Cyborg (22-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) puts her title on the line against Australian challenger Arlene Blencowe (13-7 MMA, 6-3 BMMA). Cyborg is a heavy 9-1 favorite in the fight, and just one of our 14 editors, writers, videographers and radio hosts is picking Blencowe in an upset.

In the co-feature, Patricky Freire (23-9 MMA, 14-7 BMMA), brother of Bellator featherweight and lightweight dual champ Patricio Freire, takes on Jaleel Willis (13-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA). Only one of our staff members is taking Willis, who is making his return to Bellator on the heels of an LFA welterweight title win in August.

Also on the main card, Ricky Bandejas (13-4 MMA, 3-3 BMMA) meets Leandro Higo (19-5 MMA, 2-3 BMMA) in a bantamweight bout. Just like the top two bouts, only one picker is taking Higo to win.

And to open the main card, we have our most contentious fight from a picking standpoint. Saad Awad (23-13 MMA, 11-10 BMMA) takes on Mandel Nallo (7-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) at lightweight. Awad has some picking support, but Nallo still has a sizable 9-5 lead.

In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Cyborg (68 percent), Freire (72 percent), Bandejas (68 percent) and Nallo (51 percent) are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.