Sports

Pettis captures bantamweight title

Pettis captures bantamweight title
Sergio Pettis and Juan Archuleta fight during their Bellator 258 on May 7 night.
UNCASVILLE, MAY 8 (AGENCIES): | Publish Date: 5/8/2021 1:43:21 PM IST

 Sergio Pettis captured the Bellator bantamweight title in Uncasville, Connecticut to follow in brother Anthony’s footsteps by becoming an MMA world champion.

Pettis, 27, outpointed defending 135-pound champion Juan Archuleta in the main event of Bellator 258 on Friday night, earning scores of 50-45, 49-46, 49-46 to extend his unbeaten run since joining Bellator.

It meant Pettis added another world championship belt to the family collection. His Bellator title joins the WEC and UFC lightweight titles previously won by his older brother earlier in his career.

After taking his Bellator record to 3-0, with an overall tally of 21-5, Pettis said he was confident as he awaited the scorecards following the five-round fight.

“He hit me with some good shots, but I knew my shots were hitting a little cleaner, a little bit harder. I was more calculated, calm,” he said. “He said there was a storm coming, and there’s a heavy water tide, but I was out here, I was water tonight, man. I was flowing, and it was my night.”

Pettis said he would be prepared to face team-mate Raufeon Stots in a title defence if that is the fight Bellator mandate for him next. He also said he would love to face Japanese star and former Bellator champion Kyoji Horiguchi for his Rizin FF title in a cross-promotional fight in a bid to emulate his brother by becoming a two-promotion world champion. “I’d like to call out Horiguchi. I would love to represent Bellator against Rizin,” he said.

“Ant’s got two belts, and it would be a great opportunity to get my second belt, as well.” ‘Rumble’ returns with second-round knockout

In the night’s co-main event, light-heavyweight contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson made his long-awaited return to the cage and survived an early scare before knocking out late-notice opponent Jose Augusto to progress to the semi-finals of the Bellator light-heavyweight Grand Prix.

Former UFC contender Johnson, who was making his Bellator debut after a four-year hiatus from the sport, looked to be edging toward a first-round stoppage after Augusto appeared to break his right hand early in the fight.

But, as Johnson closed in looking for the knockout, he was badly rocked by a huge Augusto left hand that put the American in big trouble in the closing moments of the round. But ‘Rumble’ survived and came back to knock out the Brazilian with a huge overhand right in round two to book his place in the semi-finals of the Bellator light-heavyweight grand prix, where he will face reigning champion Vadim Nemkov for the 205-pound title and a place in the tournament final.

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