Bellator 242 results, highlights: Sergio Pettis outpoints Ricky Bandejas as promotion returns to action

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Bellator MMA

The Bellator MMA bantamweight division may have just found another viable contender for its vacant title. 

UFC veteran Sergio Pettis (20-5) improved to 2-0 inside the Bellator cage on Friday after scoring a victory by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) over Ricky Bandejas in the main event of Bellator 242. 

The card was the first for Bellator since late February before the start of the coronavirus pandemic and took place in what looks to be the promotion's new home for the time being inside an empty Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. 

An injury to Kyoji Horiguchi forced the Bellator 135-pound title to go vacant last November. Top contenders Juan Archuleta and Patrick Mix are expected to see their title bout get rescheduled in the near future. The winner could end up seeing Pettis, however, in their first defense after how strong the 26-year-old looked in his second fight since becoming a free agent last year.

Pettis, the younger brother of former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, extended his win streak to three overall by landing the cleaner strikes and relying on his experience to largely disarm the powerful Bandejas (13-4), who was fresh off a pair of knockout wins.

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Bandejas, 28, proved unable to control the terms and pace of the fight despite holding a size and reach advantage. Pettis did his best to slow the pace down and increase the overall tension as they danced around one another and largely pawed for long stretches. 

By making the fight more about technique and timing, Pettis was able to cruise thanks to a series of outside leg kicks which slowed Bandejas down and a steady barrage of clean counter right hands.

Although Bandejas was able to land a spinning kick to the body late in Round 1 before scoring a takedown in the closing seconds, it was his only notable sequence of the round. Pettis reversed a successful takedown one round later to fire clean strikes from top position. 

The final round saw Pettis control distance with ease while landing the more meaningful blows. 

CBS Sports was with you all night with updates, results and highlights from Uncasville, Connecticut, with our coverage below.

Fight card, results

  • Sergio Pettis def. Ricky Bandejas via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Jason Jackson def. Jordan Mein via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Jay-Jay Wilson def. Tywan Claxton via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Aaron Pico def. Chris Hatley Jr. via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Mark Lemminger def. Jake Smith via second-round TKO (punches)
  • Raufeon Stots def. Cass Bell via third-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Ras Hylton def. Rudy Schaffroth via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
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Scorecards: 30-27, 30-27 and 30-27 for Pettis.

R3: Pettis eats a spinning back kick to the chest. Bandejas' spinning wheel kick attempt is blocked. They go the distance.

R3: Spinning back kick to the head lands partially for Pettis. Bandejas is just not taking chances here. It's nearly all Pettis this round pushing a hard pace on him.

R3: Bandejas catches a kick and lands a right counter. Back comes Pettis with a right of his own.

R3: Big right cross from Pettis hits. He lands again with a spinning back first. All of this activity is preventing Bandejas from opening up and doing something dramatic.

ROUND 3: Both fighters miss spinning head kicks early. Pettis continues to keep Bandejas honest with jabs and outside leg kicks.

Replays show that the late right hand from Pettis didn't actually land but Bandejas jerked his head back to avoid it.

R2: Hard counter right hand from Pettis in the closing seconds.

R2: Pettis shoots for a takedown but gets stuffed. Counter right hand for Bandejas. Pettis stuffs a takedown attempt and ends up in top position.

R2: Pettis lands hard low calf kicks that visibly bother Bandejas.

ROUND 2: Hard right hand from Bandejas lands. Pettis answers with a right hand of his own.

R1: Bandejas shoots to force a standing clinch. Nice takedown as he gets Pettis to his back and works from side position.

R1: Spinning back kick to the body hits for Bandejas. Nice outside leg kick from Pettis. Both fighters showing a lot of respect for each other's striking. Pettis narrowly misses a spinning high kick.

R1: More outside leg kicks from Pettis. Both guys remain very tense. They trade punches along the cage and Pettis lands a right hand.

ROUND 1: Front kick to the body from Bandejas to get things going. He's the taller and longer fighter but Pettis remains patient looking to get inside. They trade outside leg kicks.

Bandejas enters the first on a two-fight win streak, both by devastating knockout. Pettis, meanwhile, is fresh off a dominant Bellator debut.

It's just about that time for the main event as exciting bantamweights Ricky Bandejas and Sergio Pettis square off.

Scorecards: 30-27, 30-27 and 30-27 for Jackson.

R3: Jackson closes the fight in top position on the ground. This should be his decision.

R3: Jackson does well to stay on his feet during a wild takedown attempt. Mein comes back with another one and ends up on his own back with Jackson inside his guard.

R3: Jackson looks very confident taking the lead with jabs and outside leg kicks. Big right cross drops Mein.

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