Bellator 242 “Bandejas vs. Pettis” took place Friday, July 24, 2020 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Two Bantamweights in search of a third straight win met in the main event as Ricky Bandejas (13-3) fought Sergio Pettis (19-5) in his second Bellator bout. For the winner there would be a date with the victor of Juan Archuleta vs. Patrick Mix for the currently vacant 135 lb. title.
Pettis executed a single game plan to perfection over the course of 15 minutes — constant forward pressure, attacking the left leg with kicks, and scoring with his hands as Bandejas’ mobility suffered. The longer the bout wore on the harder it was for Bandejas to maintain an effective stance or answer back with power shots. All three judges returned a verdict of 30-27 for Pettis as a result. No post-fight interview followed.
Scrappy and hard hitting Welterweights were next on the bill as Jason Jackson (11-4) and Jordan Mein (31-12) tested their wills inside the Bellator cage. An amped up “Ass Kicking Machine” nearly flew across the Bellator cage as he ran his pre-fight sprints.
Mein took two years off and had two knee surgeries, and it’s little surprise that Jackson attacked his stance with punishing leg kicks. That wasn’t Mein’s biggest problem through the first two rounds though — it was his inability to keep up with the pace Jackson set, bobbing and weaving as he landed one significant strike after another.
Things took a turn for the worse with the third verse. Jackson continues to crush Mein’s left leg, dropped him with a hard counter right at 2:06, let him back up to punish him some more, and eluded every takedown attempt that Mein tried until ultimately the last one wound up putting Jackson on top in full guard with a minute to go.
Jackson rode out the round and the scorecards from the judges, earning a 30-27 unanimous decision. No post-fight interview followed.
Former Featherweight Grand Prix competitor Tywan Claxton (6-1) hoped to end a seven month layoff with a win against the thus far undefeated Jay Jay Wilson (5-0). At Bellator’s virtual media day, Wilson said he “couldn’t even rate” Claxton’s skill at jiu-jitsu compared to his. Claxton did damage at range, kept him on the fence, and smothered him with 15 minutes of pressure. The judges scored it 30-27 Claxton, 29-28 Wilson, and 30-27 for Wilson by split decision. Chael Sonnen declared the latter score “fiction” on commentary. Wilson spoke to John McCarthy afterward.
“I have an amazing team behind me that keeps me here and ready for every fight. In the second round he pushed me against the cage but he wasn’t doing much. In that third round he came down, I kind of had him in the guillotine position, and I went for the triangle because I wanted that finish.”
Rounding out the main card was Bellator MMA mainstay Aaron Pico (5-3) facing Chris Hatley, Jr. (8-2) at Featherweight. Pico only needed 28 seconds to score a takedown and take control of the fight.
From there Pico steadily accrued damage with left hands and elbows, smashing his way through Hatley’s guard until he gave up his back. With that Pico sank in a rear naked choke and Hatley was forced to tap at 2:10 of the first round. Pico earned his first career win by submission as a result. John McCarthy interviewed him from six feet away inside the cage.
“Honestly John, I owe it to my coaches. My coaches have helped me through this process. Greg Jackson has slowed things down for me. He made it very simple. Coach Gibson, all the coaches, it’s just good to get a win. I don’t know what else to say but it’s working. I have power in my hands, I can knock anybody out, but to be honest with you I just want to win. I just want to be smart, have a great career, have a long career.”
For complete Bellator 242 results and coverage click here.