Pettis Impresses At Bellator 242

Sergio Pettis looked like a man on a mission against Ricky Bandejas at Bellator 242, winning the bout by way of unanimous decision. 

The matchup served as the headliner for the companies first event amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and it did not disappoint.

With his impressive victory in a big spot, Pettis is one step closer to leaving the shadow of his older brother Anthony, who is a one of the greatest lightweight competitors in UFC history. The 26-year-old, who is now riding a three-win streak, moved to 20-5 in his professional fighting career.

The Milwaukee native took advantage of the 4-inch height differential between he and Bandejas, constantly chopping at his legs with devastating calf kicks. Bandejas was visibly shaken by the swarm of agile attacks, as he looked like a tree on shaky ground at a few different points in the bout.

“I think that was one of the turning points, when [Bandejas] started feeling some pain and not trusting himself as much,” said Pettis. “But I think I controlled the range pretty good overall. He couldn’t really get in on me. I don’t think he touched me too much.”

Bandejas moved to 13-4 in his professional fighting career after the bout and has now lost 3 of his last 5 since taking down McGregor protégé James Gallagher in the Summer of 2018. The 28-year-old seemed to have a fire lit underneath him after the Pettis had full control of the first two rounds, but it was still not enough to overcome the stoic brawler. 

The bantamweight title fight between Juan Archuleta and Patrick Mix was originally scheduled for the event headliner before Archuleta withdrew from the event. One person who probably wishes the fight would’ve happened is Pettis, who is now the No. 1 contender for the championship. 

The highly anticipated fight will surely be rescheduled soon, and a subsequent bout where Pettis fights the winner will surely be planned soon thereafter. Pettis, who is never one to back down from competition, believes he matches up well against either competitor.

“Ricky got a good takedown on me, so that’s something I have to address going against those two,” said Pettis. “But both of those fights, they’re either going to take me down, or try to hold me down. I don’t think they want to stand with me. If I can keep my range, I can keep them away.”

While it is currently unknown when these upcoming fights will take place, one thing that is for sure is there are a few exciting bouts coming up amongst the highly competitive Bellator bantamweight competitors. 

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2020 by "The Fightlete Report"