Sergio Pettis

The Phenom


Comes from behind to retain belt
December 8, 2021
Pettis defeated Kyoji Horiguchi via KO (spinning backfist) at 3:24 of Round 4 at Bellator 272 on Dec. 3 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Pettis saw more adversity than he ever had in fights under the Bellator banner through the first three rounds of this one, as Horiguchi was landing at will with both his takedowns and striking. That's not necessarily too surprising, as Horiguchi -- who primarily fights under the RIZIN banner -- is largely considered one of the top bantamweights in the world. Pettis was able to weather the storm, however, and delivered one of the best knockouts of the year (in all of MMA) in the championship rounds. He'll retain his 135-pound belt in Bellator and improves his record to 4-0 with the promotion. Next up, Bellator has announced a Bantamweight Grand Prix in 2022 that will feature both fighters, along with six other 135 pounds, and have a $1 million top prize on the line. The bracket will almost certainly set the stage for an eventually rematch between the two.
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New Bellator Bantamweight Champ
May 12, 2021
Pettis defeated Juan Archuleta via unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) to become the new Bellator Bantamweight Champion at Bellator 258 on Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The move up to bantamweight was no issue for the former UFC contender, as Pettis was able to largely keep Archuleta's wrestling in check. He showed excellent takedown defense, and when he was brought to the mat, Pettis was able to quickly get back to his feet. He started to pull away in the later rounds, and while Archuleta continued to move forward, Pettis consistently was able to sting him with nasty counter shots. Now entering his prime at the age of 27, Pettis seemingly has plenty of options as he looks to begin an extended reign as champion.
Bellator return date set
July 14, 2020
Pettis is in line to take on Ricky Bandejas in a flyweight matchup in Bellator's return to action July 24 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, Raphael Marinho of Combate reports.
Pettis began his run with Bellator in January, defeating Alfred Khashakyan via technical submission in the first round. He and the rest of the Bellator roster have been sidelined since March 13, however, as the company hasn't been quite as quick to return as the UFC. Nonetheless, there's now a return date set at a location very familiar with hosting Bellator events. It's unclear what other fights will show up on the card at this time, but a date and location is still a massive step for the company in moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Signs with Bellator
October 24, 2019
Pettis agreed to terms with Bellator on a multifight contract, where he will compete solely as a bantamweight, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
The 26-year-old competed as a flyweight and bantamweight in the UFC and was considered one of the top flyweights in the promotion, but he will fight solely as a bantamweight in Bellator since they do not have a male flyweight division. Pettis carries an 18-5 record as a professional fighter, including a record of 9-5 with UFC. He has dropped three of his last five fights, but is coming off a victory over Tyson Nam via unanimous decision. Pettis' debut with Bellator has not yet been set.
Could leave UFC
October 3, 2019
Updating a previous report, Pettis is now a free agent and is exploring options outside of the UFC, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
It was reported last week by multiple news outlets that Pettis had been booked to face Kai Kara-France at UFC 245 in December, but it appears that fight has since been scrapped. It makes sense that Pettis would at least want to explore his options if his contract is up, as the UFC hasn't been all that friendly to flyweights over the last few years. The company traded champion Demetrious Johnson to ONE FC, and forced many others in the men's 125-pound division to either move up in weight class or find other work. Pettis has historically fared much better at flyweight than bantamweight, so he's likely looking for more long-term security with a potential move.
To fight Kara-France at UFC 245
September 28, 2019
Pettis will face off against Kai Kara-France at UFC 245 in Las Vegas on Dec. 14, reports.
Pettis has dropped three of his past five fights. His most recent fight was a victory over Tyson Nam, who he defeated by unanimous decision. 12 of Pettis' 18 victories are by decision, while three are by submission and three are by KO/TKO.