Cyborg, Pettis & Horiguchi Return As Bellator Heads Back To Hawaii

Bellator MMA is set to return to Hawaii next month and will be bringing some blockbuster matchups with it to the islands. The promotion hasn’t headed to the off-the-mainland state since it held Bellator 235 and 236 on consecutive nights in 2019. Now, with a pandemic that shut down travel, sport, and large gatherings across…

Continue Reading Cyborg, Pettis & Horiguchi Return As Bellator Heads Back To Hawaii at MMA News.

Bellator MMA is set to return to Hawaii next month and will be bringing some blockbuster matchups with it to the islands.

The promotion hasn’t headed to the off-the-mainland state since it held Bellator 235 and 236 on consecutive nights in 2019. Now, with a pandemic that shut down travel, sport, and large gatherings across the world beginning to die down, the mixed martial arts spotlight is set to return to Hawaii.

As first reported by KHON2, Bellator will once again be putting on two events on back-to-back dates. As well as hosting Bellator 278 on April 22, the Neal S. Blaisdell Center will see Bellator 279 go down the very next night.

While there’s yet to be any fights added to the opening night, Bellator 279 is already shaping up to be a must-watch card. With multiple title fights set to go down, two of Bellator’s top champions will return to action.

Cris Cyborg (25-2), a former Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and UFC featherweight titleholder, is set to make the fourth defense of her 145-pound Bellator gold. Her latest victory saw her overcome Sinead Kavanagh at UFC 271.

Challenging her in Honolulu will be familiar foe Arlene Blencowe (15-8). Since falling short of dethroning Cyborg in 2020, the Australian 38-year-old has won back-to-back contests against Dayana Silva and Pam Sorensen, earning herself a second crack at the belt.

Elsewhere, as part of the $1 million Bantamweight Grand Prix, Sergio Pettis (22-5) will put his 135-pound title on the line against Raufeon Stots (17-1). Since leaving the UFC for Bellator in 2019, “The Phenom” has built a four-fight win streak that includes a championship crowning versus Juan Archuleta and a successful defense and knockout of the year contender against the great Kyoji Horiguchi.

Like Pettis, Stots has remained unbeaten on the Bellator stage. In five appearances, “Supa” has extended his MMA win streak to nine and defeated the likes of Magomed Magomedov and Josh Hill. In 18 career fights, Stots’ one defeat came at the hands of top-10 UFC bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili.

In another notable bout, Horiguchi (29-4) will make his third appearance in the Bellator cage against Patchy Mix (15-1). That clash will mark another first-round Grand Prix context. Elsewhere, Hawaii’s Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-1) will square off against Justine Kish (7-5).

The currently announced Bellator 279 card (main card set for 9:30 p.m. ET) is as follows:

Sergio Pettis vs. Raufeon Stots – Bantamweight title bout

Cris Cyborg vs. Arlene Blencowe – Featherweight title bout

Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Patchy Mix – Bantamweight bout

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Justine Kish – Flyweight bout

Fights for Bellator 278 (main card set for 9 p.m. ET) are yet to be announced.

Are you excited for Bellator’s return to Hawaii next month?

Continue Reading Cyborg, Pettis & Horiguchi Return As Bellator Heads Back To Hawaii at MMA News.

EXCLUSIVE | Darrion Caldwell Predicts Sergio Pettis To Win Bellator Grand Prix

Darrion CaldwellFormer Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell expects Sergio Pettis to still have the belt at the end of the upcoming Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix. Caldwell is set to face Enrique Barzola at Bellator 273 to begin his 2022 calendar year. He’s coming off of a tough loss to Leandro Higo at Bellator 259 last […]

Darrion Caldwell

Former Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell expects Sergio Pettis to still have the belt at the end of the upcoming Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix.

Caldwell is set to face Enrique Barzola at Bellator 273 to begin his 2022 calendar year. He’s coming off of a tough loss to Leandro Higo at Bellator 259 last year by a split decision.

Caldwell is looking to get back in the thick of things in the bantamweight division, but he’ll have to wait after he wasn’t selected for the upcoming Grand Prix. The tournament will begin later this year and feature big names such as Pettis, Kyoji Horiguchi, Patchy Mix, James Gallagher, and Raufeon Stots.

Caldwell, a former champion, is still going to pay attention to the tournament despite not being selected for it. During an exclusive interview with LowKickMMA, Caldwell explained why he thinks Pettis will come out on top in the Grand Prix.

“I think the champ is gonna stay the champ,” Caldwell said. “That fight with Horiguchi, I felt like Horiguchi was winning the fight. But Pettis’ timing was good from Round 1 on. And he stayed in it. I think Pettis is going to win the tournament unless I get a shot. He’s a hard puzzle. It’s like a 1000 piece puzzle that Pettis had to deal with Horiguchi.”

Darrion Caldwell Is Hoping To Get His Bellator Belt Back

Caldwell earned the Bellator title back in 2017 against Eduardo Dantas. He would go on to successfully defend it against Higo before eventually losing it to Horiguchi.

Caldwell then moved up to 145 pounds to enter the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix, eventually losing to AJ McKee. He also told LowKickMMA that he isn’t ruling out a move back to featherweight in the future.

Caldwell has always been one of the biggest names in the promotion, and he’s looking to prove in 2022 that he’s still a legitimate contender at 135 pounds. It’ll all begin at Bellator 273 against a tough prospect in Barzola.

What is your prediction for the Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix?

Sergio Pettis KOs Kyoji Horiguchi – Bellator 272 Highlights

Sergio PettisBellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis defends his title for the first time against a former titleholder, Kyoji Horiguchi. Let’s see how it plays out. Round 1 begins and Horiguchi is the more active fighter in the opening minutes. He’s using his speed and movement on the feet to dictate the range, and Pettis seems a […]

Sergio Pettis

Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis defends his title for the first time against a former titleholder, Kyoji Horiguchi.

Let’s see how it plays out.

Round 1 begins and Horiguchi is the more active fighter in the opening minutes. He’s using his speed and movement on the feet to dictate the range, and Pettis seems a bit tentative with his combinations. Horiguchi nearly gets a takedown, but Pettis is able to scramble out of it and work back up to the feet. At the end of the round, Horiguchi lands a couple of nasty body kicks to Pettis’ solar plexus.

Round 2 opens up with Horiguchi continuing to push the pace on Pettis and ends up getting the fight to the ground. After landing some hard ground-and-pound from the top mount, Pettis lands a hard up-kick that opens up a cut underneath Horiguchi’s eye. Despite the kick, Horiguchi is able to resume position and control the fight on the ground.

Pettis begins to find his rhythm in Round 3 with some stiff leg kicks. But, Horiguchi’s speed is still an issue that Pettis is having problems dealing with. Horiguchi transitions beautifully from a right uppercut into a takedown near the fence and keeps up his high volume.

In Round 4, Horiguchi comes forward like a freight train and lands another hard takedown on Pettis. But, Pettis miraculously finds a second wind and lands some hard punches to the body as the fight moves back to the feet. Pettis counters a clinch attempt from Horiguchi and lands a nasty spinning back fist that knocks Horiguchi out cold to retain the bantamweight throne.

Check out the highlights from Pettis’ incredible win over Horiguchi.

Bellator 272 Results & Highlights: Pettis KOs Horiguchi

Bellator 272 took place tonight from the Mohegan Sun Arena with a title fight in one of their most challenging divisions.

Sergio Pettis took on the former Bellator MMA and RIZIN bantamweight champion, Kyoji Horiguchi. This was Pettis’ first title d…

Bellator 272

Bellator 272 took place tonight from the Mohegan Sun Arena with a title fight in one of their most challenging divisions.

Sergio Pettis took on the former Bellator MMA and RIZIN bantamweight champion, Kyoji Horiguchi. This was Pettis’ first title defense since winning it from Juan Archuleta at Bellator 258. Fans might remember that when Horiguchi held the two coveted 135-pound titles he had to relinquish them when he was injured in 2019

Oddly enough, the injury happened just before the end of the year and before COVID-19 rocked the world. It gave Horiguchi enough time to rest and return to action at the end of 2020 at RIZIN 26 where he avenged his non-title fight loss to Kai Asakura.

Check out the highlights from the main event between Sergio Pettis and Kyoji Horiguchi below followed by the Bellator 272 fast results!

BELLATOR MMA 272: PETTIS VS. HORIGUCHI Quick Results


MAIN CARD

Bantamweight Championship Bout: Sergio Pettis © def. Kyoji Horiguchi via knockout (spinning backfist): R4, 3:24

Jeremy Kennedy def. Emmanuel Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-27×3)

Josh Hill def. Jared Scoggins via knockout (punch): R2, 0:56

Johnny Eblen def. Collin Huckbody via TKO (punches): R1, 1:11

PRELIMINARY CARD

Alexander Shabliy def. Bobby King via unanimous decision (30-27×3)

Kai Kamaka III def. John DeJesus via unanimous decision (29-28×3)

Levan Chokheli def. Vinicius de Jesus via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27×2)

Justin Montalvo def. Jacob Bohn via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28×2)

Mike Hamel def. Killys Mota via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Spike Carlyle def. Dan Moret via technical submission (rear-naked choke): R3, 2:58

Kyle Crutchmer def. Oliver Enkamp via unanimous decision (30-27×3)

Continue Reading Bellator 272 Results & Highlights: Pettis KOs Horiguchi at MMA News.

Sergio Pettis to Make First BW Title Defense vs. Kyoji Horiguchi on Dec. 3

Sergio Pettis Kyoji HoriguchiBellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis will finally make his return to the cage to make his first title defense against Kyoji Horiguchi on Dec. 3 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Bellator has yet to officially name the event numerically. ESPN’s Marc Raimondi was among the first to report the Pettis vs. Horiguchi […]

Sergio Pettis Kyoji Horiguchi

Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis will finally make his return to the cage to make his first title defense against Kyoji Horiguchi on Dec. 3 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

Bellator has yet to officially name the event numerically. ESPN’s Marc Raimondi was among the first to report the Pettis vs. Horiguchi booking.

Remarkably, Horiguchi will still be on Rizin’s roster to defend his bantamweight title next year. Rizin and Bellator have a long-standing relationship when it comes to crossover fighters between the promotions.

Pettis earned the belt after out-pointing Juan Archuleta at Bellator 258 earlier this year. He has won four fights in a row, including three in Bellator after a long tenure in the UFC alongside his brother, former UFC champion Anthony Pettis.

The other fights on the card have yet to be named. It’s also unclear if the Pettis vs. Horiguchi bantamweight showdown will be the only title fight on the card, although Bellator hasn’t had many events with multiple title fights.

Sergio Pettis will make his first Bellator bantamweight title defense since earning the belt against Juan Archuleta

Horiguchi will look to begin his second stint in Bellator with style, after a one-off against Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 222. He would go on to return to Rizin to split fights with Kai Asakura.

The Pettis vs. Horiguchi bantamweight title bout could be the last of its kind for a while, as Bellator headman Scott Coker has hinted at a Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix for some time next year. Nothing has materialized or been announced yet, but that could change soon.

Pettis, Horiguchi, and others set up what is a fascinating Bellator bantamweight division, which arguably stands toe-to-toe with the UFC’s talented bantamweight roster.

What is your early prediction for Sergio Pettis vs. Kyoji Horiguchi?

Sergio Pettis Defends BW Title Against Kyoji Horiguchi At Bellator 272

Sergio Pettis has his first Bellator bantamweight title defense set. Pettis will face former Bellator and RIZIN bantamweight champion, Kyoji Horiguchi at Bellator 272 on December 3. Bellator announced the fight on the Morning Kombat show. The event will take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., with the event airing on Showtime. Sergio Pettis […]

Continue Reading Sergio Pettis Defends BW Title Against Kyoji Horiguchi At Bellator 272 at MMA News.

Sergio Pettis has his first Bellator bantamweight title defense set.

Pettis will face former Bellator and RIZIN bantamweight champion, Kyoji Horiguchi at Bellator 272 on December 3. Bellator announced the fight on the Morning Kombat show. The event will take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., with the event airing on Showtime.

Sergio Pettis (21-5) is coming off a decision win over Juan Archuleta back in May at Bellator 258 to win the bantamweight title. He is currently 3-0 in Bellator as he beat Alfred Khashakyan by submission in his debut and followed that up with a decision victory over Ricky Bandejas in the main event of the first Bellator card back from COVID-19.

The 28-year-old signed with Bellator in 2019 after fighting out his UFC contract. He ended his UFC tenure with a win over Tyson Nam and went 9-5 inside the Octagon. Pettis picked up notable wins over Joseph Benavidez, Brandon Moreno, and John Moraga while losing to the likes of Henry Cejudo, Rob Font, and Alex Caceres.

Kyoji Horiguchi (29-3) has not fought since New Year’s Eve of 2020 as he knocked out Kai Asakura to reclaim the RIZIN bantamweight belt after his shocking KO loss to Asakura in August of 2019. The former UFC title challenger also won the Bellator bantamweight title with a decision win over Darrion Caldwell but was forced out to vacate both titles due to him tearing his knee. He then was a free agent and recently signed with Bellator.

After Horiguchi signed with Bellator, this was the fight to make as he never lost the title. He is also a big name in the sport, and on paper, this should be an excellent fight with Pettis. The winner will also have options as Raufeon Stots or the winner of James Gallagher-Patrick Mix will be next in line.

Who do you think will win at Bellator 272, Sergio Pettis or Kyoji Horiguchi?

Continue Reading Sergio Pettis Defends BW Title Against Kyoji Horiguchi At Bellator 272 at MMA News.