At Bellator 272, the bantamweight division was on full display. Sergio Pettis would successfully defend his title for the first time against former titleholder Kyoji Horiguchi. This victory came in the most impressive fashion imaginable. Pettis was seemingly getting beat anywhere the fight went, up until landing a perfectly timed spinning back fist that knocked Horiguchi out cold.
To add even more credibility to the impressive finish from Pettis, shortly after, Bellator made an announcement regarding their plans for 2022. Bellator announced the Bantamweight Grand Prix tournament that begins next year. This division is arguably the most stacked weight class Bellator has, and they are taking full advantage of it.
The Grand Prix will include current champion Sergio Pettis and his Bellator 272 counterpart, Kyoji Horiguchi. Former champion Juan Archuleta will also be involved, alongside fellow Bellator veteran Leandro Higo. Young up and coming Bellator stars Patchy Mix, James Gallagher, Raufeon Stots, and Magomed Magomedov round out the rest of the competition.
Although the matchups are not official, it is hard to imagine any combination of bouts not being intriguing. Out of the fighters in the tournament, we have already seen Sergio Pettis face and defeat Kyoji Horiguchi and Juan Archuleta.
Although the matchups are not official, it is hard to imagine any combination of bouts not being intriguing. Out of the fighters in the tournament, we have already seen Sergio Pettis face and defeat Kyoji Horiguchi and Juan Archuleta. Also, Patchy Mix is coming off of a submission victory earlier this year against James Gallagher in Ireland. Mix also has a loss against Juan Archuleta in 2020. Lastly, Raufeon Stots went tit for tat with Magomed Magomedov en route to a decision victory in 2021.
Bellator is known for putting on several Grand Prix, and this one for 2022 is sure to deliver for fight fans everywhere. The most elite talents that Bellator has will compete for the ultimate prize of $1,000,000 and the bantamweight title. The question is, who do you see coming out on top one year from now?
Let us know your predictions in the comments below!
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Featured Image Credits to Bellator MMA