The Bandejas Brand
Ricky Bandejas is average and obnoxious, just what you would expect from someone from New Jersey. A few years back, he got a bit of clout for knocking out a budding and vulnerable James Gallagher, and he showed who he truly is. During the buildup, he acted like he hated Gallagher’s brash behavior. After he knocked him out, he went and screamed in Gallagher’s face. Then, he walks around and taunts him again like the guy just won a title. It’s almost like he knew that would be the highlight of his career.
What respectful person kicks a guy while he’s down? The only thing that Ricky showed is that he is worse than Gallagher, but was too afraid to express himself. The fact is, he did not believe in himself and that’s why he was quiet.
Interestingly, Sergio Pettis lost to Ryan Benoit, who literally kicked him while he was down out of pure jealousy. It would be poetic to see Pettis use Bandejas as a sounding board to redeem himself from that disrespect.
Ricky was right not to say much in the buildup. He lost every exchange to Gallagher until he landed one shot and caught a much less experienced and younger grappler. The mistakes Ricky Bandejas made then are the same he makes now. His back straight up with his chin up in the air. He throws counterpunches with his chin straight up and gets hit too much too clean whether he wins or loses. With skills like that, it’s no wonder he was so emotional after beating a guy he had every advantage over.
Oh wow, he knocked out a 21-year-old with less fights who was 5 years younger than him. What a tough guy Ricky Bandejas is. Except his next opponent, Sergio Pettis, isn’t an underaged grappler.
Bandejas’ Place in Bellator
Every time Bandejas he has competed against talented or experienced fighters, he has lost. Juan Archuleta handled him no problem. Then, in his very next fight, he got mixed.
I will say, he must have some very solid power. He did sleep his last two opponents moving backwards. Sergio Pettis, however, is not a guy that will make a mistake big enough for Bandejas to get lucky the way he has lately. Bandejas still falls into his shots and loses his balance because he constantly overextends. His kicks look mechanical and stiff, and he flinches way too much for a fighter at this stage in his career.
Pettis is Surging
Pettis is a technical, high IQ striker that is not going to grapple Bandejas after hurting him. The chances of Bandejas winning out of nowhere after losing the entire fight are slimmer than they have ever been. His luck has run out because Pettis is showing an improving killer instinct and has solid power at Bantamweight. This is all in addition to Pettis being a much better striker all around.
Without hurting his opponents, Pettis has dangerous BJJ. If he hurts his opponents, he can definitely tap them, so the odds are heavily in his favor against a guy like Bandejas. It seems that Sergio Pettis is surging upward at 26, and at 28, Bandejas is still underwhelming. These MMA gloves are small, so of course Bandejas has a chance to win. But I don’t see Ricky Bandejas winning unless Pettis rushes face-first into a haymaker with his hands down.
Bandejas is just a mediocre fighter right now that will likely be another addition to Pettis’ highlight reel. Considering the talent in the Bantamweight division, a guy like Sergio Pettis will be an enticing addition to the title picture. Maybe he can even fight Higo, Mix or Mlambo if and when he devastates Bandejas on Friday night.
Yes! Friday, July 24th, don’t miss it. Bellator is back, baby!
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