Ricky Bandejas (left) and Nick Catone

Ricky Bandejas (left) and Nick Catone - Photo by Angelo Carchesio

Ricky Bandejas looking to bring an end to Patrick Mix’s perfect start at Bellator 222

Ricky Bandejas (11-2) returns to the Bellator MMA cage for a third time as he meets undefeated Patrick Mix (10-0) at Bellator 222 on June 14.

“Camp’s going good,” Bandejas told MyMMANews.com a week out from the fight.

“I’m looking forward to fight night.  Excited.  Everything’s going well. Training.  Everything’s perfect.”

Even with the perfect fight camp coming to a close, Bandejas knows that his opponent is very well-rounded and he can never be too prepared.

“I know he’s tough.  I don’t believe he’s lost as a pro and or as an amateur.  He has a lot of prospect energy on him and I’m looking forward to taking that zero.  As for training, he’s got a lot of submissions.  He likes to get the fight to the ground.  I’ve been working a lot with my buddy Sean Santella and my coach Nick Catone, working a lot of guillotine defenses and getting out of the rear-naked choke.”

Bandejas is a regular at Nick Catone MMA & Fitness in Brick, New Jersey where he trains alongside some of the top fighters in the world include Marlon Moraes, Frankie Edgar, Corey Anderson, Katlyn Chookagian, and more.

“There’s a lot of good up and coming guys at the gym.  We have a busy month or two for the guys at the gym.  Marlon fighting for the belt tomorrow (interview conducted day prior to UFC 238), Frankie fighting for the belt, I’m fighting Pat Mix at MSG.  It’s definitely a busy time at the gym.”

Following his first win in Bellator, a knockout over Conor McGregor training partner James Gallagher, Bandejas’ stock rose.

“It went well.  I was pretty much brought in there as a stepping stone.  Little bit of recognition, but I was there to grow Gallagher’s career.  It backfired and it went well for me.  On social media I got a lot more followers, more people know who I am and now more people tune in when I fight.”

After the impressive start, the competition stiffened as Bandejas was paired up against Juan Archuleta.  It was a hard fought back and forth battle at Bellator 214 but unfortunately the New Jersey native came up short on the scorecards.

“I learned that mentally, it is crazy to think that you belong with the best in the world you know?  Like Ricky Bandejas from New Jersey is potentially one of the best bantamweights outside of the UFC, or even in the world.  So going in there with him (Archuleta) and seeing how close the fight was, and that maybe if I pulled the trigger a little more, that, that fight was ours.  It’s interesting to see that piece to the puzzle.  Like this is definitely something I should be doing.”

Realizing that he is at the top of the food chain and has to stay active to remain there, Bandejas has several goals in mind.

“I want to get this win over Pat Mix next week.  I would like to get the win back from Archuleta.  I would like to get in contention for a title, but overall, I’m just looking to fight a lot.  I’d like to get in as many fights as I can.  If I can get 10, I’ll take 10 you know?  Whatever Bellator is willing to give me, I’ll take them.”

Bellator 222 takes place at Madison Square Garden and is headlined by a welterweight title bout between champion Rory MacDonald and challenger, Neiman Gracie.

Ricky Bandejas (left) and Nick Catone - Photo by Angelo Carchesio
Ricky Bandejas (left) and Nick Catone – Photo by Angelo Carchesio