The following report details the events at Bellator 258. You can watch the entire event again on BBC iPlayer (UK only): Here.
Sergio Pettis won the Bellator bantamweight title in Uncasville, Connecticut to follow in Brother Anthony’s footsteps and become MMA world champion.
Pettis, 27, featured defending 135 pound champion Juan Archuleta at the Bellator 258 main event on Friday night, scoring 50-45, 49-46, 49-46 points to extend his unbeaten run since joining Bellator.
This meant that Pettis added another world championship belt to the family collection.
His Bellator title joins the WEC and UFC lightweight titles his older brother won earlier in his career.
After setting his Bellator record 3-0 and an aggregate record of 21-5, Pettis said he was confident as he waited for the scorecards after the five-round match.
“He hit me with a couple of good shots, but I knew my shots were a little cleaner and a little harder. I was more calculated and calmer,” he said.
“He said there was going to be a storm and there was a heavy flood of water, but I was out here, I was water tonight, man. I flowed and it was my night.”
Pettis said he would be ready to face teammate Raufeon Stots in a title defense if that is his next mandate mandate.
He also said he would love to compete against Japanese star and former Bellator champion Kyoji Horiguchi for his Rizin FF title in a cross-promotional match to emulate his brother and become world champion with two promotions.
“I would like to call Horiguchi. I would like to represent Bellator against ricin,” he said.
“Ant has two belts and it would be a great opportunity to get my second belt as well.”
‘Rumble’ returns with knockout in the second round
In the co-main event of the night, light heavyweight Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson long returned to the cage and survived an early fear before knocking out belated opponent Jose Augusto to make it to the semi-finals of the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Former UFC contender Johnson, who made his Bellator debut after a four-year hiatus, appeared to be nearing a first-round hiatus after Augusto appeared to have broken his right hand early in the fight.
However, as Johnson got closer in search of the knockout, he was rocked severely by Augusto’s huge left hand, which got the American into great trouble in the final moments of the round.
But ‘Rumble’ survived and returned to take out the Brazilian with a big overhand in round two and secure his spot in the semi-finals of the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix where he will face reigning champion Vadim Nemkov for the 205 pound -Title and a place in the tournament finals.
‘MVP’ scores another stop victory
The event also saw the return of Englishman Michael ‘Venom’ Page, who showed a typically spectacular performance to finish the American Derek Anderson in his 175-pound catchweight competition.
Deviating from the usual routine, ‘MVP’ went out in complete silence for his fight after choosing not to have strike music. But when the action started, his performance made all the noise as he demonstrated his elusive, unique fighting style to get a first-round TKO failure.
The defining moment came a minute after the end of the first round when Page dropped Anderson with a stunning headbutt that left Anderson with a badly broken nose. The American made it to the end of the round, but the cage doctor waved Anderson off the competition with Anderson in his chair.
Page looks to win a rematch with current welterweight champion Douglas Lima after the Brazilian presented him with his first and only career loss at Bellator 221 in 2019.
Since that defeat, the 34-year-old Londoner has won five straight wins, four of which were achieved through a spectacular knockout.
After his last win, Page used his post-fight interview to request a rematch with the 170-pound champion.
“Everyone knows what I want. There is a battle for redemption that I am looking for,” he said.
“He’s always got excuses for me now. I’m not interested in giving his name, but everyone knows who he is. We’re going to meet and the same stuff is going to happen.”
Queally calls for title shot
Also on the main map, Irish lightweight Peter Queally returned from a frustrating game on the sidelines and announced himself as the top contender for the £ 155 title.
The 32-year-old Dublin-born Queally defeated Brazilian competitor Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire on cuts after two highly competitive rounds of a doctor’s stop and then called for a shot at the Bellator lightweight title from Freire’s brother, division champion Patricio Put the ongoing rivalry between his Gym SBG and the Pitbull Brothers team in Brazil.
“Let me and Patricio settle this SBG pit bull feud now. It’s the only way to do it,” he said.
“I think he’ll win the (featherweight) tournament against AJ (McKee) – good luck to him – and then he should defend his belt against me and sort it out once and for all.
“He must have respected what I did to his brother there and he doesn’t want to fight me after that, I’ll lose respect for him.”