Sergio Pettis is the new Bellator bantamweight champion. He scored a unanimous decision win over Juan Archuleta last Friday night (local time) at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.
The win at Bellator 258 was the 27 year old’s fourth in a row. His older brother Anthony Pettis held titles with both WEC and the UFC and it is an achievement he would like to emulate.
After the win Pettis called for a fight with Rizin bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi,
“I’d like to call out Horiguchi. I would love to represent Bellator against Rizin. Ant’s got two belts, and it would be a great opportunity to get my second belt as well.”
Horiguchi is the reigning, two time Rizin bantamweight champion. He never lost his Bellator 135lbs title in the cage but decided to return it after suffering a serious knee injury.
Bellator CEO Scott Coker confirmed that the pandemic has temporarily put his partnership with Rizin on hold,
“The only reason why we’re not working together right now is because of Covid. Once that situation goes away, I definitely see a light at the end of the tunnel (and) then we’ll start working together at some point I’m sure.”
He did sound extremely enthusiastic about the prospect of Horiguchi facing Pettis on a future Bellator card,
“We’ll check in from time to time with (Nobuyuki) Sakakibara to see where he’s at, but we’d love to have Horiguchi come and fight Pettis at some point.”
In 2019 Bellator Japan took place in Tokyo featuring fighters from both Sakakibara and Coker’s rosters. Rizin’s Rena Kubota and Horiguchi also appeared at Bellator 222 with the latter claiming the promotion’s bantamweight belt.
Horiguchi had earned his title shot by submitting Darrion Caldwell at Rizin 14. He remains undefeated inside the Bellator cage and will surely get to compete there again once the pandemic has subsided.