MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down the Bellator’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main event for Bellator 242.
Bellator 242 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Paramount following prelims on YouTube.
Ricky Bandejas (13-3 MMA, 3-2 BMMA)
- Height: 5’10” Age: 28 Weight: 135 lbs. Reach: 70″
- Last fight: Knockout win over Frans Miambo (Feb. 22, 2020)
- Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
- Stance/striking style: Orthodox/muay Thai
- Risk management: Good
+ CFFC bantamweight title
+ Amateur MMA accolades
+ Wrestling base
+ 6 KO victories
+ 3 submission wins
+ 3 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Aggressive pace and pressure
+ Accurate hooks and crosses
^ Coming forward or off the counter
+ Hard kicks and knees
+ Strong inside of the clinch
+ Solid wrestling ability
^ Scrambles well
Sergio Pettis (19-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA)
- Height: 5’6″ Age: 26 Weight: 135 lbs. Reach: 69″
- Last fight: Submission win over Alfred Kashakyan (Jan. 25, 2020)
- Camp: Roufusport (Milwaukee, WI)
- Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
- Risk management: Good
+ RFA flyweight title
+ Taekwondo black belt (2nd degree)
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt
+ 3 KO victories
+ 4 submission wins
+ 6 first-round finishes
+ Excellent footwork
+ Accurate jab and cross
^ Pulls and returns well
+ Dangerous head kicks
^ Strikes well off of the breaks
+ Improved wrestling ability
^ Good hips and wrist controls
+ Aggressive and attacking guard
Point of interest: Banging at bantamweight
The main event for Bellator 242 features a battle between one of bantamweight’s biggest bangers and a former flyweight who is very familiar with competing in this division.
Coming from a traditional taekwondo base, Sergio Pettis arguably has done a better job than his brother in regards to translating a striking process into the cage. Although Pettis is not as flashy as his brother (nor does he have the highlight reel to compare), there is an economical flow to the way in which he mixes his punches and kicks, and he also works at a much more consistent pace.
Not only does Pettis work in his kicking attacks seamlessly, but his point-fighting style of footwork has complemented his boxing nicely, utilizing his heightened sense of range to fuel his pulls and returns. Still, despite having accurate jab-cross continuums he works well from, Pettis will need to respect the power that Ricky Bandejas will be firing back at him.
Despite coming from a wrestling base, Bandejas seemingly has been gravitating toward banging things out on the feet as his career has progressed.
Having a knack for throwing hands since his time spent under Nick Catone and company in New Jersey, Bandejas has steadily added to his arsenal in recent years. Already keeping cross-hook combos on a hair-trigger, Bandejas will add a clever layer to his counter game as he subtly shifts to southpaw on the retreat in order to walk oncoming opposition into check-right hooks (a trick that Jacare Souza has been using for years).
Although Bendejas could accentuate his length with a little more jabs for my liking, the 28-year-old does a decent job of offering everything from front kicks to flying knees up the centerline, something that helps discourage level-changing threats. The now-American Top Team product has also added more leg and calf kicks to his repertoire, which will help his efforts at range.
Bandejas still shows to sometimes throw his kids nakedly (without setup), as well as a tendency to back up in straight lines with an upright head. That said, former CFFC champ does well when it comes to catching or countering kicks for his won agenda – though I’m not sure how eager Bandejas will be to follow Pettis to the floor.
Next point of interest: Scrambling for supremacy
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/bellator-242-bandejas-vs-pettis-breakdown-analysis/