Bellator 258: Preview & Predictions
By Dan McConnell
Juan Archuleta will put his Bellator bantamweight title on the line this Friday night, in his first title defence versus former UFC contender Sergio Pettis.
For many, Archuleta wasn’t far off defeating featherweight kingpin Patricio Freire and ending his reign at the top of the division, after a close decision loss in September 2019.
Archuleta (25-2) has rose through the ranks of Bellator while competing at both 135 and 145 pounds. He found new life at 135-pounds and won the vacant title against a former undefeated challenger Patchy Mix.
‘The Archer’ will put his title on the line for the first time against Sergio Pettis, a former UFC talent who at 27 is heading into his prime years.
Juan Archuleta vs Sergio Pettis Prediction
Juan Archuleta, who trains with former UFC bantamweight king TJ Dillashaw in California emulates his team mates high energy and pace.
After losing to Freire for the first time in his career, he rebounded with a win over Henry Corrales and then defeated Patchy Mix for the vacant bantamweight title.
Sergio Pettis signed with Bellator at the back end of 2019, defeating Alfred Khashakyan and Ricky Bandejas in 2020. I don’t think we have ever seen the best version of the Milwaukee native, who trains under the watchful eye of Duke Roufus.
For Pettis, he will need to use the title pedigree of team mates Anthony Pettis and Tyron Woodley and figure out the puzzle of a Duane Ludwig fighter.
I find it hard to see Archuleta losing this one, who is the more polished striker, heavy hitter and a natural featherweight. I have him winning by unanimous decision.
Peter Queally vs Patricky Pitbull Prediction
Peter Queally (15-5-1) has found a home with Bellator since the start of 2019, but faces his toughest test yet. Last time out ‘The Showstopper’ put on the performance of his career, coming back to stop Ryan Scope in the second round.
While his opponent, Patricky Pitbull suffered a shock loss to Tofiq Musayev at RIZIN 20 last December. This fight is dubbed Pitbull vs SBG Ireland, who have had back and forwards on social media, and is a massive fight for the trajectory of both fighters careers.
Patricky will bring his heavy punching power and 30-fight career into this one. While Queally will need to make sure that he perfects the timing of the Brazilian.
The Irishman suffered a broken hand last time out, and I’m not sure if he will be tentative to throw down right from the off. But that’s the Peter Queally we all know.
This should be a fun one and potential fight of the night. I have Patricky Pitbull winning by knockout.
BELLATOR MMA 258: Archuleta vs. Pettis Main Card:
Bantamweight Title Bout: c-Juan Archuleta (135) vs. #1-Sergio Pettis (134.75)
Light Heavyweight WGP Quarter-ĺfinal Bout: Anthony Johnson (205) vs. Jose Augusto (204.75)
Lightweight Bout: #2-Patricky Pitbull (155.5) vs. Peter Queally (155)
175-Pound Contract Weight Bout: #2-Michael Page (174.75) vs. #6-Derek Anderson (175)