UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Sergio Pettis wants to compliment his older brother Anthony’s championship collection by adding the Bellator belt to the family mantel.
Pettis (19-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) will have an opportunity to take a step closer to the vacant bantamweight title when he meets Ricky Bandejas (13-3 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) in a high-stakes matchup of contenders in the main event of Bellator 242, which takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena with the main card set to air on Paramount and stream on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.
So far, Anthony is responsible for winning belts in the UFC and WEC. The younger Pettis brother has yet to win a major championship but thinks beating Bandejas marks a step toward that change.
“A belt is always the dream for any fighter coming in,” Pettis told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “We all want to be the best and fight the best, so definitely a belt would be awesome. My brother’s got two belts, so I think adding a belt would be awesome. The Bellator belt, he hasn’t touched that one yet, so I would be the first Pettis to get the Bellator belt.”
Pettis had put himself in good position to get such an opportunity, but he must win his next fight first. He said he knows that won’t be easy, as Bandejas has shown the danger he presents with knockouts in all three of his Bellator wins.
Bandejas has been on Pettis’ radar for some time, he said. In fact, Pettis said he was aware of his upcoming opponent well before he joined Bellator and successfully debuted in January.
“I like Ricky’s style,” Pettis said. “I think he’s good. I’ve been watching him since before I even got into Bellator, so I think he’s got a good style. He likes to keep it standing, he likes to keep it exciting. He’s got some nice finishes, so I’m excited to go out there and test my skills against him. I know he’s a little bit taller than me, but hey, I’ve been fighting tall people my whole life. I’m 5-foot-6, so you know how it goes.
“I believe (on) Friday you guys are going to see a war. Me and Ricky are going to go out there and go at it. He’s going to try to keep it standing, showcase his skillset. I’m going to go out there and keep it standing, showcase my skillset, and we’ll see what happens. I think it’s going to be a full-on battle.”
Pettis’ focus is centered around Friday’s fight, but he knows an impressive victory would send him trending toward a fight for the belt.
“I do believe it throws my name into the mix a bit. I’m not a guy that expects stuff, but I’m going to go out there and make some stuff happen, and this is a great opportunity for my Bellator career.”
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/bellator-242-headliner-sergio-pettis-ricky-bandejas-first-pettis-brother-title/