Bellator Bantamweight Champion Juan Archuleta put together a strong five-round performance to defeat Patchy Mix and earn the belt last year. Now, Archuleta enters the Bellator cage in the hopes of defending his title for the first time. He faces Sergio Pettis, who is getting the title fight after two wins in the promotion.
The fight headlines Bellator 258, which is set to happen on Friday behind closed doors from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA.
Here’s a full preview of the card.
Preliminary Card (5:30PM EDT) (Youtube)
Bout 1: Erik Perez (19-8) vs. Blaine Shutt (8-4) (Bantamweight)
Looking for his first Bellator win, former UFC fighter Erik Perez will fight Blaine Shutt in the opening bout of the prelims.
Perez has struggled since joining Bellator in 2019. He last fought in August, where Josh Hill handed him his second loss in the promotion. Prior to the ongoing losing streak, Perez had a five-fight win streak that included three UFC bouts.
Shutt is making his Bellator debut in the bout. He last appeared over a year ago, where he defeated Johnny Lopez on a CES card. Shutt is replacing Brian Moore, who withdrew from his booking against Perez.
Bout 2: Weber Almeida (4-0) vs. Johnny Soto (3-1) (Featherweight)
Undefeated featherweight Weber Almeida will make his return to the cage when fighting Johnny Soto.
Almeida’s four-fight pro run has mostly happened in Bellator. He has showcased his finishing skills on their stage, stopping all three opponents they have put in front of him with strikes.
He now fights Soto, who is on a three-fight win streak from the regional scene. He last fought on a card in February of 2020, where he stopped Jesus Mondragon within a round with a rear naked choke. Soto slightly missed weight for his fight, coming in two-and-a-half pounds over the non-championship featherweight limit on Thursday.
Bout 3: Henry Corrales (18-5) vs. Johnny Campbell (20-13) (Bantamweight)
Bellator veteran Henry Corrales will fight experienced bantamweight Johnny Campbell on the prelims.
Corrales snapped a two-fight losing streak in his last appearance, fighting to a split decision win against Brandon Girtz. The prior fights were losses to credible names in Juan Archuleta and Darrion Caldwell.
Campbell is getting his first Bellator fight on Friday. He had a four-fight win streak disrupted in the fall, as a gruesome ear injury took him out of a fight against Ary Farias.
Bout 4: Johnny Eblen (7-0) vs. Daniel Madrid (18-6) (Middleweight)
Johnny Eblen will look to score his eighth consecutive win when fighting Daniel Madrid.
Eblen has put together three wins since he signed with Bellator in 2019. His last win was in October of last year, where he defeated Taylor Johnson on scorecards.
Madrid, a veteran of the sport, won his Bellator debut in September against Pat Casey. Before the fight, Madrid had built up four wins from 2018 to 2019.
Bout 5: Logan Storley (11-1) vs. Omar Hussein (8-2) (Welterweight)
Attempting to bounce back from his first pro loss, Logan Storley will fight Omar Hussein.
Storley’s 11-fight undefeated run was broken in November, as Yaroslav Amosov prevailed in a split decision performance. The majority of his pro wins took place in Bellator before then, having won six fights for them.
Hussein is stepping in for Killys Mota, who was pulled from the card in the weeks leading up. He has experience in regional promotion UAE Warriors, having fought four times for them from 2019 to 2021.
Bout 6: Patchy Mix (13-1) vs. Albert Morales (10-6-1) (Bantamweight)
Fighting for the first time after losing a title fight, Patchy Mix will battle against Albert Morales as part of the preliminary card.
Mix lost in September to Archuleta, not being favoured on scorecards after 25 minutes of action. He was given the title shot after three wins on the big stage, including submission victories over Ricky Bandejas and Yuki Motoya.
While Morales has lost six of his 17 pro fights, he enters Friday’s show on a two-fight win streak from 2019.
Bout 7: Lorenz Larkin (22-7) vs. Rafael Carvalho (16-5) (Middleweight)
Lorenz Larkin has the chance to extend his current win streak when fighting short-notice opponent Rafael Carvalho.
Larkin has won his last four fights in Bellator. He has been out of the cage for some time now, with his last win being a late 2019 performance over former UFC fighter Keita Nakamura.
Carvalho is replacing Costello van Steenis, who reportedly departed the card last week. The booking for Carvalho came after he was reportedly released by the promotion and was announced for an LFA card. With his booking on Friday, Carvalho has been pulled from the LFA event he was set to appear at later in the month.
Bout 8: Raufeon Stots (15-1) vs. Josh Hill (20-3) (Bantamweight)
The preliminary card is set to conclude with a bantamweight fight between Raufeon Stots and Josh Hill. The booking sees two fighters who have put together momentum in the promotion as of late.
Hill picked up two wins in Bellator last year, adding to what is now a four-fight win streak in total.
Main Card (9:00PM EDT) (Showtime)
Bout 9: Michael Page (18-1) vs. Derek Anderson (17-3) (Catchweight 175 lbs)
Flashy welterweight Michael Page will move up to a catchweight of 175-pounds to fight Derek Anderson in the first fight of the main card.
Page has been best known for his fast yet dominant wins through his long Bellator run. He currently has won his last four fights in the promotion. His last fight was an odd change of pace, as issues with a “slippery” canvas made him opt to glide to a decision win over Ross Houston in October.
Page has a tough challenge in front of him, as he will face an experienced fighter in Anderson. Anderson scored his third-straight Bellator win in November, stopping Killys Mota with a head kick.
Bout 10: Patricky Pitbull (23-9) vs. Peter Queally (12-5-1) (Lightweight)
Patricky Pitbull and Peter Queally will make their returns to the Bellator cage when fighting on the main card.
Pitbull last appeared at a RIZIN New Year’s Eve card in 2019, where he fought in their Lightweight Grand Prix. He advanced to the finals early in the night, defeating Luiz Gustavo to score his seventh consecutive win as a pro. However, that win streak was stopped later in the night by Tofiq Musayev.
Pitbull is facing Queally, who is coming back from an even longer layoff. He last fought in September of 2019, where he stopped Ryan Scope in the second round with punches.
Bout 11: Anthony Johnson (22-6) vs. Jose Augusto Azevedo (7-2) (Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal)
Anthony Johnson’s Bellator debut was set to be a grand fight. He was booked to fight Yoel Romero, a former UFC fighter, in the first round of an eight-man 205-pound bracket. However, that plan got thrown out the window last week after Romero failed his pre-fight medical exam.
Instead, Johnson’s first Bellator bout will come against Jose Augusto Azevedo, who took the tournament fight on just a weeks notice.
Azevedo won his Bellator debut just last month, defeating Jonathan Wilson within a round with an arm triangle choke. He was not an official alternate for the bracket, although he was chosen to compete after alternate fighter Julius Anglickas was not available.
Johnson will be fighting for the first time since he retired in 2017. His last fight was a title bout, losing to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210. His fight on Friday will be his first outside of the UFC since 2014.
Bout 12: Juan Archuleta (25-2) vs. Sergio Pettis (20-5) (Bellator Bantamweight Championship)
After putting together two wins in Bellator, Sergio Pettis will get one of the biggest tests of his career when fighting Juan Archuleta.
Pettis signed to Bellator in 2020, leaving the UFC after 14 fights for them. He has succeeded with his new home, defeating Alfred Khashakyan and Ricky Bandejas recently.
He now fights Archuleta, who is looking to defend his belt for the first time. Archuleta claimed the vacant belt in September, defeating Patchy Mix via unanimous decision. The fight was Archuleta’s move down by a division, as he had previously mostly fought at featherweight. His run at 145-pounds included five wins, with the sole loss being against champ Patricio Pitbull.