Ricky Bandejas vs. Sergio Pettis Bellator MMA Fight Prediction

Bellator MMA returns to action tonight as they host Bellator 242 from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. The event is headlined by a Bantamweight bout between Ricky Bandejas and Sergio Pettis. We here at The Sports Geek are going to breakdown each of the main card fights and give you a high-value play for every fight. In this article, we are going to breakdown the main event between Ricky Bandejas and Sergio Pettis.

Ricky Bandejas (13-3) vs. Sergio Pettis (19-5)

The main event at Bellator 242 is a Bantamweight bout between Ricky Bandejas and UFC veteran Sergio Pettis. Bandejas has gone 3-2 in his Bellator MMA career after starting out 9-1 as a professional. He looks to build on his current two-fight winning streak, as he has recent wins over Ahmet Kayretli and Frans Mlambo, with both wins coming by knockout.

For Pettis, he recently left the UFC after picking up ten wins in the world’s largest MMA promotion, and signed with Bellator as a free agent, and is 1-0 in the promotion. Pettis beat Alfred Khashakyan by guillotine choke in the first round and has his eyes set on the currently vacant Bellator MMA Bantamweight title. This fight is expected to be a title eliminator, with the winner of this fight fighting the winner of Juan Archuleta vs. Patrick Mix for the vacant Bantamweight strap.

Ricky Bandejas
+125
Sergio Pettis
-159

Pettis is the current betting favorite at -159, and the fight is expected to go the distance as the to go the distance prop bet is paying -240.

To Go The Distance
-240
Not To Go The Distance
+175

Ricky Bandejas

Ricky Bandejas is not a household name at this point, but he should be. This guy has a world-class striking game and has pinpoint accuracy with both his punches and kicks. When you look at his record, he has a big win over James Gallagher, who was undefeated at the time, knocking him out in the first round, and his overall record is stellar, at 13-3.

When you look at who he has lost to in Bellator, you know that it takes a lot to beat this kid. Bandejas has losses to Juan Archuleta and Patrick Mix, that’s it. Those two guys have a combined MMA record of 27-2. Mix is undefeated, and Archuleta’s only loss in the last five years came to the double champ, Patricio Freire. And remember, the loss to Archuleta was a controversial one, as many people, myself included, thought that Bandejas did enough to win the fight.

We already talked about how this fight is a title eliminator, and if Bandejas finds a way to pick up the upset win tonight, he will get a chance to avenge one of his two losses against the winner of Mix and Archuleta. You are going to see a highly skilled and highly motivated fighter tonight in Ricky Bandejas.

Sergio Pettis

Bellator MMA has done a very good job recently at poaching talent from the UFC. They have made themselves a viable alternative for free-agent fighters, and they have been able to snag a lot of talent in the last couple of years. One of those guys is Sergio Pettis. Pettis fought in the UFC from 2013-2019, before making the move to Bellator earlier this year.

In his time fighting for the UFC, Pettis bounced around between Flyweight and Bantamweight and had multiple Fight of the Night performances. He picked up signature wins over guys like John Moraga and Joseph Benavidez and took combat sports GOAT Henry Cejudo the distance in a decision loss. Pettis left the origination on a high note with a win over Tyson Nam and started his Bellator career out where he left on in the UFC, as he beat Alfred Khashakyan in his Bellator debut.

Pettis was once one of the more exciting fighters in the world as he was a risk to stop fights both standing and on the ground. But he has recently turned into a point fighter, as outside of his recent submission victory against Alfred Khashakyan, he has seen eleven out of his last twelve fights go to a decision, including nine straight. He has managed to win more of those than he has lost, but it is a bit disappointing to see a guy that has so much power turn into a guy looking to grind out decisions.

The Bet

This is an interesting matchup. On the feet, I give a slight edge to Bandejas. Both guys throw lots of kicks from weird angles, and it they want to, this could be a very exciting stand-up battle. But I have a feeling that Pettis knows he isn’t going to get the best of the stand-up exchanges, which makes me think that he is going to use his solid grappling game to drag Bandejas to the mat and keep him there.

I hate to root for a boring fight, but I think that is what is going to happen tonight in the main event. Pettis used to love to stand and bang, but those days are over, and I expect that he will look to control this fight and keep it on the ground, where he has a major advantage.

And while Pettis does have a decent submission game, he submitted three of his first nine career opponents, he didn’t have another submission win until his last fight. At this point in his career, he is taking guys down to hold them down, not to submit them.

Well, if we are going to have a boring fight with Pettis grinding out yet another submission victory, I might as well get paid to try not to fall asleep. Give me Sergio Pettis by decision in a snoozefest.

The Bet
Sergio Pettis
-159
The Bet
To Go The Distance
-240
Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL