Juan Archuleta vs Patrick Mix: Bellator Bantamweight Title On The Line
By Dan McConnell
This weekend Bellator MMA returns to our screens with two massive cards at the Mohegan Sun Arena that has become a home for the promotion, while navigating through the global pandemic.
On Friday night two former UFC title contenders will make the walk inside their new promotion for the very first time.
In the main-event a light-heavyweight showdown between the debuting former UFC 205-pound champion Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida (26-9) and former Bellator 205 champion Phil ‘Mr Wonderful’ Davis (21-5) takes centre stage.
The debuting Cat Zigano (10-4) who famously beat Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes in her early UFC career, is welcomed to the promotions already stacked women’s featherweight division as she faces Gabby Holloway (6-5).
But all the hype is surrounding our Saturday night title fight between Juan ‘The Archer’ Archuleta (24-2) and the undefeated Patrick ‘Patchy’ Mix (13-0) to see who will begin a new era with the Bellator bantamweight title.
The 135-pound title has been vacant since November 2019 after Kyoji Horiguchi was forced to give up the crown, after dethroning champion Darrion Caldwell.
Archuleta and Mix’s names were both thrown into the melting pot and the war of words begun. Archuleta’s Muay Thai style and Mix’s high-level grappling provides your typical clash of styles and should provide fireworks this weekend.
Archuleta was on an 18-fight win streak before he suffered a decision loss to Patricio Freire in the Bellator featherweight Grand Prix back in September 2019. He got back in the win column with an impressive victory over the former unbeaten Henry Corrales in January of this year.
The Californian who has featured on the Netflix series ‘Kingdom’ trains under Duane Ludwig and also has former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw in his corner. He will now drop down to compete for the vacant 135-pound title.
His opponent Patchy Mix is arguably one of the most impressive and under-rated fighters in the world right now. The Buffalo-born Mix fights out of the famous Jacksonwink camp in Albuquerque and holds a spotless amateur and professional record heading into Saturday night’s matchup.
The New York native has made the promotion King of the Cage a home while racking up a 9-fight win streak. Signing for Bellator in 2019 he continued his unbeaten run by defeated Ricky Bandejas, Isaiah Chapman and Yuki Motoya to take his professional record to 13-0 and continue to rise his stock.
Known for his high-level ground game Mix possesses a 69% submission rate and put his name in lights when he beat Yuki Motoya at the annual Bellator-Rizin card in December 2019. A tight guillotine choke inside the first round in enemy territory impressed Scott Coker and the Bellator matchmakers.
Mix has said that winning the Bellator bantamweight title this weekend makes him the world’s best 135-pounder, and feels he would run through newly crowned UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan.
At the age of 26 Patrick Mix certainly has his whole career ahead of him and will hope to solidify his name at the top of the division. While for Archuleta at the age of 32, it feels like an opportunity he must grasp this Saturday night inside the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.