Sergio Pettis had a successful Bellator debut scoring his first finish win since 2013 as he went his entire 14-fight stretch in the UFC without a finish.
At Bellator 238, Pettis was taking on Alfred Khashakyan in his return to the bantamweight. The Viacom-owned promotion doesn’t have a flyweight division so he was forced to move up to 135. In the fight, Pettis had a ton of success. He dropped Khashakyan and it appeared knocked him out with ground and pound. Yet, the fight wasn’t stopped so the Milwaukee native sunk in a choke and put his opponent out cold.
With the win, Pettis made a statement to the bantamweight division. Given Kyoji Horiguchi vacated due to injury, Bellator president, Scott Coker says Pettis is right there for a title shot. Coker said he hopes to have a title fight made in the next few months.
“I think he looked great. I think he’s right in that mix, because with [Kyoji] Horiguchi being out and DC [Darrion Caldwell] being in the [featherweight] tournament,” Coker said after the fight (via MMA Junkie). “We’re going to host a 135-pound championship [fight] at some point. But we’re going to wait and see how these guys perform over the course of two, three, four months, because we will be doing 30 [events] this year in 2020.
“So we’ll have a lot of opportunity for these guys to get some more fights under their belt. We’ll probably host a 135-pound championship fight in some time.”
If Sergio Pettis is involved in a vacant bantamweight title fight, possible options for opponents could be the likes of Patrick Mix, Juan Archuleta, or Ricky Bandejas. All three have had a ton of success in the promotion and deserve a crack at the title. But, what also makes sense, but Coker did not mention it, is a grand prix.
Regardless, Pettis had a very impressive debut and could very well be fighting for Bellator gold in his next fight.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime