Juan Archuleta has the chance to defend his Bellator Bantamweight Championship for the first time on Friday night when facing Sergio Pettis. His title fight headlines Bellator 258, which is set to happen at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA.
Follow along throughout the evening for live updates on the show.
Preliminary Card (5:30PM EDT) (Youtube)
Main Card (9:00PM EDT) (Showtime)
Bout 11: Juan Archuleta (25-2) vs. Sergio Pettis (20-5) (Bellator Bantamweight Championship)
Pettis Uses Striking Skills To Become Bellator Bantamweight Champion
A stellar striking performance earned Sergio Pettis a unanimous decision win against Juan Archuleta, making him the new Bellator Bantamweight Champion (50-45, 49-46 & 49-46). Pettis’ 25-minuted performance saw him get the best of most exchanges on the feet, often playing a counter-striking role against the champion.
Pettis would often have sharper and more efficient movements when fighting with Archuleta at the stand-up range. Archuleta was able to connect with his strikes, but it was clear that Pettis was landing the more impactful punches throughout.
Archuleta hunted for takedowns late in the fight, being able to put down some control time in the fourth and fifth rounds.
Pettis called out RIZIN Bantamweight Champion Kyoji Horiguchi after his win.
“I’d love to represent Bellator versus RIZIN,” said Pettis.
Pettis, a former UFC veteran, was given the Bellator title fight after two wins in the promotion last year.
Archuleta was attempting to defend the belt for the first time after defeating Patchy Mix to claim the vacant belt last year.
Bout 10: Anthony Johnson (22-6) vs. Jose Augusto (7-2) (Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal)
Johnson Stops Short-Notice Opponent Augusto In First Fight Since 2017
Anthony Johnson had a successful return to MMA on Friday, stopping short-notice opponent Jose Augusto with punches to advance past the first round of Bellator’s Light Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Johnson was able to stop the fight in the second round with a right hand that flattened Augusto. The referee was quick to jump in afterwards to end the fight.
The finish came after a hectic battle that saw Johnson get hurt and Augusto face issues with his right hand.
Troubles started early for Augusto, as a punch from his right hand landed awkwardly and caused visible pain to him. For the rest of the fight, he primarily fought with his lead left hand.
Augusto had Johnson in trouble late in the first round, stunning then dropping him with two left hooks to the head. Augusto tried for a submission on the ground, although Johnson was able to escape the attempt and survive the rest of the round.
Johnson was making his first appearance in MMA since losing a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship fight to Daniel Cormier in 2017. He has now advanced to the semifinals of Bellator’s bracket, pitting him against current champ Vadim Nemkov in the next round.
Johnson was originally set to face former UFC fighter Yoel Romero in the first round of the bracket but plans changed last week after Romero failed his pre-fight medical tests.
Augusto won his Bellator debut last month, submitting Jonathan Wilson in the first round with an arm triangle choke.
Bout 9: Patricky Pitbull (23-9) vs. Peter Queally (12-5-1) (Lightweight)
Slicing Elbow From Queally Earns Win Over Pitbull
A close fight between lightweights finished after the second round, as an elbow from Peter Queally opened a cut on Patricky Pitbull, making a doctor decide to end the fight in-between rounds.
Queally opened the cut while on the ground with Pitbull in his guard. Pitbull continued to bleed significantly minutes after the fight was stopped, proving the significance of the cut.
Pitbull and Queally were in a close fight prior to the doctor stoppage. Pitbull was able to do damage on the feet, hurting Queally with leg kicks.
“He could have went on into that third round, we would have had a great scrap, but I felt like I did a massive amount of damage,” said Queally during his post-fight interview.
Queally called out the brother of Patricky, Patricio, after his fight.
Queally now has two wins since he entered Bellator in 2019. His last fight was also a stoppage win, defeating Ryan Scope on a card in Ireland.
Pitbull was making his return after losing in the finals of a RIZIN Lightweight Grand Prix in late 2019, losing on scorecards to Tofiq Musayev.
Bout 8: Michael Page (18-1) vs. Derek Anderson (17-3) (Catchweight 175 lbs)
Head Kick From Page Causes Doctor Stoppage
Michael Page added another flashy win to his career on Friday, defeating Derek Anderson after a round due to a doctor stoppage.
Page was able to drop Anderson in the first round with a head kick, inverting the bridge of his nose. Anderson was quick to get up and endure the rest of the round, although the fight was later stopped by a doctor once he returned to his corner in-between rounds.
The win was Page’s fifth-straight in the Bellator cage. He fought to decision in his previous fight, handing Ross Houston his first pro loss.
While Page refused to name Douglas Lima, he hinted that he wants to fight him in a rematch to avenge his 2019 loss. Lima is currently booked to fight, putting his 170-pound belt on the line against Yaroslav Amosov in June.
The fight was the first time in Anderson’s 21-fight pro career that he was stopped by an opponent. He had a three-fight Bellator win streak before Friday, which included a head kick stoppage win against Killys Mota in November.
Bout 7: Raufeon Stots (15-1) vs. Josh Hill (20-3) (Bantamweight)
Stots Defeats Hill To Continue Flawless Run Through Bantamweight Division
Raufeon Stots continued his undefeated run up the Bellator bantamweight division in the final preliminary bout, defeating Josh Hill via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Stots pushed the pace of the fight throughout, charging forward at Hill with strikes and occasionally being able to land a takedown.
Stots now has four wins since entering the Bellator roster in late 2019. His rise through the bantamweight division made large strides last year, as he defeated prospects Cass Bell and Keith Lee.
Hill had a four-fight win streak broken with the fight. His previous fight saw him prevail against former UFC fighter Erik Perez in August.
Bout 6: Lorenz Larkin (22-7) vs. Rafael Carvalho (16-5) (Middleweight)
Larkin Defeats Carvalho In Return
Lorenz Larkin continued his win streak with a split decision against Rafael Carvalho on the prelims (29-28 Larkin, 29-28 Carvalho & 29-28 Larkin).
Larkin’s aggressive striking on the feet allowed him to score the win. He consistently closed the distance in the fight, coming forward to punches or entering clinch positions with Carvalho.
The win was Larkin’s fifth consecutive win for Bellator. His previous wins were a while back now, as the fight on Friday was his first bout since late 2019.
Carvalho took the matchup on short notice, replacing Costello van Steenis, who reportedly left the lineup last week. Carvalho had previously departed the Bellator roster and was booked for an LFA card before he was called on for the fight on Friday.
Carvalho has now lost five of his last six fights.
Bout 5: Patchy Mix (13-1) vs. Albert Morales (10-6-1) (Bantamweight)
Mix Returns To Win Column With Arm Triangle Choke
Patchy Mix returned to the win column with a submission against Albert Morales on the prelims. After competing in a back-and-forth grappling battle earlier in the fight, Mix slipped in an arm triangle choke to make Morales tap out in the third round.
Morales put up a fight earlier in the fight, providing challenges for Mix after being taken down.
Mix was coming back after taking his first pro loss last year, losing a fight for the then-vacant Bellator Bantamweight Championship against Juan Archuleta. Mix had previously earned three wins in Bellator fights.
Morales took Friday’s fight on short notice, replacing James Gallagher. He entered the bout on a two-fight win streak. After his win, Morales asked for a fight against Gallagher in July.
Bout 4: Johnny Eblen (7-0) vs. Daniel Madrid (18-6) (Middleweight)
Eblen Extends Undefeated Record With Stoppage Win Against Madrid
Johnny Eblen scored the eighth win of his undefeated run on Friday, dropping Daniel Madrid in the first round with punches. Storming forward with a combination of strikes, Eblen landed a left hook that floored Madrid, allowing the chance for hammerfist strikes on the ground and forcing the referee to end the fight shortly after.
Eblen now has four wins in Bellator. He had gone to scorecards in his three previous appearances in the Bellator cage from 2019 to 2020.
Madrid had a five-fight win streak stopped in the fight. He won his Bellator debut in his previous showing, defeating Pat Casey in September.
Bout 3: Henry Corrales (18-5) vs. Johnny Campbell (20-13) (Bantamweight)
Campbell Submits Bellator Veteran Corrales In Promotional Debut
Johnny Campbell had a strong win in his Bellator debut, submitting promotional veteran Henry Corrales in the second round with a rear naked choke.
The win for Campbell came moments after he dropped Corrales with a right uppercut. He was quick to pounce Corrales on the ground after the knockdown, staying on the attack until he secured the choke.
Campbell was returning after taking a loss in the fall that was stopped early due to a gruesome ear injury. Before the loss, Campbell had attained four consecutive wins on the regional scene.
Campbell was excited about his win afterward, bragging about how tough of an opponent Corrales is.
“He landed that left hook that kills people, and I ate it like it was Cheerios,” said Campbell in his post-fight interview.
Campbell called out James Gallagher, who was set to compete on Friday’s card against Patchy Mix before being removed from the lineup.
“I will mess that man up. I will send him back to Ireland in a body bag,” said Campbell.
Corrales was returning to the cage after earning a split decision win against Brandon Girtz in October. Prior to then, Corrales had a two-fight losing streak against notable names Juan Archuleta and Darrion Caldwell.
Bout 2: Weber Almeida (4-0) vs. Johnny Soto (3-1) (Featherweight)
Soto Hands Almeida First Pro Loss
Johnny Soto handed Weber Almeida his first pro loss on the prelims, defeating him in a unanimous decision performance (29-27, 29-28 & 29-28). The win for Soto saw him use his control on the ground with strikes and submissions.
Soto put his opponent in great trouble late in the second round, putting a rear naked choke under the chin of Almeida.
Almeida had previously earned three Bellator wins from 2019 to 2020. The fight on Friday was his first time fighting three rounds as a pro, with all of his prior fights ending via stoppage.
Soto missed weight for the bout on Thursday, going over the featherweight limit by two-and-a-half pounds. He entered the fight on a three-fight win streak from the regional MMA scene.
Bout 1: Erik Perez (19-8) vs. Blaine Shutt (8-4) (Bantamweight)
Perez Dominates Shutt For First Bellator Win
Dominant ground and pound from Erik Perez allowed him to take all three rounds against Blaine Shutt on the prelims (30-26, 30-27 & 30-27). The victory earned Perez his first Bellator victory after three appearances.
Perez was able to get the fight down in all three rounds and land strikes from controlling positions.
Shutt was seemingly hurt by a leg kick early in the fight, beginning to limp while moving around. He later scored a takedown, but lost control when on the ground.
Perez’s two previous fights in Bellator saw him lose to Josh Hill and Toby Misech.
Shutt was making his Bellator debut in the fight. He had previously appeared in the regional scene, including fights in CES and CFFC.
Prelims Lose Storley vs. Hussein
The preliminary card lost a fight on short notice before the show started, as a welterweight fight between Logan Storley and Omar Hussein was removed from the lineup.
The fight departed the lineup after Hussein failed pre-fight medicals, per a report from Nolan King of MMA Junkie.
Storley was looking to bounce back from his first pro loss, which he took against Yaroslav Amosov in November.
Hussein took the fight on short notice, stepping in for Killys Mota.