Kyoji Horiguchi will attempt to regain the Bellator Bantamweight Championship on Friday night, facing Sergio Pettis in the main event of a show from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA.
Follow along throughout the evening for updates on the entire Bellator 272 card.
Preliminary Card (7:00PM EST) (Youtube)
Main Card (10:00PM EST) (Showtime)
Bout 11: Sergio Pettis (21-5) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (29-3) (Bellator Bantamweight Championship)
Pettis Lands Spinning Backfist Knockout Against Horiguchi, Defends Belt For First Time
Sergio Pettis erased a three-round lead that Kyoji Horiguchi developed in the fourth round of their title fight, landing a spinning backfist knockout to defend his Bellator Bantamweight Championship for the first time.
Pettis connected with the knockout shot after throwing a head kick to Horiguchi that missed. The scary finish had Horiguchi on the ground for numerous minutes, and caused him to be escorted out of the cage before the official result was read.
The finish might have been necessary for Pettis to pick up a win, as Horiguchi had developed a comfortable lead through three rounds in the fight.
Horiguchi significantly out-landed Pettis in the first three rounds, having a higher output of strikes and also scoring numerous takedowns.
Horiguchi, the current RIZIN Bantamweight Champion, was coming back to Bellator in hopes of regaining the promotion’s 135-pound belt. He previously gained the belt in 2019 following a win over Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 222. He relinquished the belt later that year due to injury.
Horiguchi’s previous fight was a first-round stoppage win against Kai Asakura on New Year’s Eve in 2020.
Pettis, a former UFC fighter, earned the Bellator Bantamweight Championship earlier this year with a unanimous decision win over Juan Archuleta.
Pettis’ win on Friday was his fourth consecutive victory since joining Bellator in 2020.
Bout 10: Emmanuel Sanchez (20-6) vs. Jeremy Kennedy (16-3) (Featherweight)
Kennedy Returns To Win Column With Victory Over Sanchez
Jeremy Kennedy swept scorecards in the co-main event, earning a unanimous decision win against two-time title challenger Emmanuel Sanchez (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
The grappling skills of Kennedy earned him the win. The 29-year-old featherweight was able to get Sanchez down numerous times, allowing him to take a lead and win rounds.
The win for Kennedy put him back into the win column after suffering a loss against Adam Borics earlier this year.
Kennedy dedicated the fight to Kyle Reyes, a late member of his gym who cornered his fights before.
Bout 9: Josh Hill (20-4) vs. Jared Scoggins (10-1) (Bantamweight)
Veteran Hill Stops Scoggins With Overhand Right
Experienced bantamweight Josh Hill scored a sudden knockout win against promotional newcomer Jared Scoggins, stopping him in the second round with an overhand right.
The strike from Hill immediately put Scoggins to sleep, causing the referee to rush in and end the fight.
The bantamweight fight was close battle on the feet before the stoppage.
The fight put Hill back into the win column after losing to Raufeon Stots earlier in the year. Before then he had a strong four-fight winning streak.
Scoggins was making his Bellator debut, which had been anticipated for over a year. The former CFFC Bantamweight Champion had three different bookings fall through in the promotion for various reasons before he got a fight on Friday.
Bellator Announces Bantamweight Grand Prix
Bellator announced a new tournament Friday, revealing the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix. The tournament, which is set to begin next year, will include the division’s champion and will have a grand prize of $1 million.
Magomed Magomedov, James Gallagher, Leandro Higo, Patchy Mix, Raufeon Stots, Juan Archuleta were revealed for the tournament. It was also unveiled that tonight’s headlining fighters – Sergio Pettis and Kyoji Horiguchi – will also fight in the bracket.
Bout 8: Johnny Eblen (9-0) vs. Collin Huckbody (10-3) (Middleweight)
Eblen Moves Undefeated Record To Double Digits With Quick Win
Johnny Eblen showed explosive striking for his 10th pro win, finishing former CFFC Middleweight Champion Collin Huckbody in the first round with strikes.
Eblen hurt Huckbody early in the fight with hooks to the head. He eventually scored a takedown, allowing him to unleash ground and pound that hurt Huckbody. While Huckbody got back to his feet, he was also covering up due to shots, causing the referee to end the fight.
Eblen now has an undefeated pro record of 10 wins, which has six victories in the Bellator cage. He has picked up three wins this year alone, including a first-round stoppage victory over Daniel Madrid.
Huckbody was coming to Bellator after defeating Nick Kraus on a regional card recently.
Bout 7: Alexander Shabliy (20-3) vs. Bobby King (10-3) (Lightweight)
Shabliy Uses Wrestling To Beat King
A smothering performance from Alexander Shabliy extended his win streak on the prelims, defeating Bobby King on scorecards after 15 minutes of action (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Shabliy scored a takedown in every round of the fight, allowing him put down numerous minutes of ground control while scoring with punches to King.
King had a flurry of punches that seemingly hurt Shabliy early in the third round, but that momentum was thrown out the window once he got taken down moments later.
Shabliy extended his strong win streak in his Bellator debut in May, defeating Alfie Davis on scorecards.
King won four consecutive bouts before Friday, including a split decision win over Nick Newell in June.
Bout 6: Kai Kamaka III (8-4-1) vs. John de Jesus (14-9) (Featherweight)
Former UFC Fighter Kamaka III Wins Bellator Debut
Former UFC fighter Kai Kamaka III won his Bellator debut on the prelims, defeating John de Jesus via unanimous decision after three rounds (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Kamaka III earned a round early in the fight with his striking on the feet. He secured the final round by taking de Jesus down and landing a steady pace of ground and pound shots.
Kamaka III was competing for the first time since a UFC run that resulted in one win, two losses and one draw within a year’s time.
De Jesus was coming off a close win he took over Bellator veteran John Macapa earlier this year.
Bout 5: Vinicius de Jesus (9-4) vs. Levan Chokheli (9-1) (Middleweight)
Chokheli Bounces Back From Sole Pro Loss Against de Jesus
Levan Chokheli picked up his first Bellator win on Friday, using his striking skills against Vinicius de Jesus to win via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27).
Chokheli used his striking skills to hurt de Jesus in stand-up positions and also ground and pound spots. His skills on the feet earned him all three rounds on two of the three judge’s scorecards.
Chokheli lost his Bellator debut earlier this year, getting beat on scorecards by Kyle Crutchmer in June.
De Jesus entered the weekend on a two-fight losing streak, which included his Bellator debut last year against Austin Vanderford.
Bout 4: Justin Montalvo (3-0) vs. Jacob Bohn (10-7) (Lightweight)
Undefeated Prospect Montalvo Wins Bellator Debut
Justin Montalvo extended his undefeated record to four wins on Friday, using his striking to beat veteran Jacob Bohn via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
Montalvo had the sharper striking through all three rounds, scoring with a high volume of shots that clearly hurt Bohn at times.
Bohn was able to slow the striking success of Montalvo at times, shooting for numerous takedowns during the fight.
Friday’s fight was the first time Montalvo fought all three rounds in a pro bout. It was also his Bellator debut.
Bohn was appearing in MMA for the first time since early 2020 and had a three-fight winning streak.
Bout 3: Mike Hamel (8-5) vs. Killys Mota (12-2) (Lightweight)
Hamel Uses Striking For Close Win Against Mota
Mike Hamel pulled off a close win over Killys Mota, taking a split decision win on the prelims (29-28 Mota, 29-28 Hamel & 30-27 Hamel).
Hamel had a good start to the fight with his striking. He was even able to score a knockdown late in the first round, dropping Mota with a right cross.
Mota made the fight much more active in the second and third rounds, engaging in close striking exchanges with Hamel.
Mota entered Friday having previously won and lost a bout each in Bellator. His more recent of the two bouts was in 2020, where Derek Anderson scored a stoppage win over him.
Hamel broke a two-fight losing streak in his previous bout, which was a win over Bryce Logan.
Bout 2: Spike Carlyle (12-3) vs. Dan Moret (15-6) (Catchweight 160 lbs)
Carlyle Makes Impressive Third Round Comeback Against Moret In Bellator Debut
Spike Carlyle had a comeback of the year contender win on the prelims, securing a third-round rear naked choke submission win over Dan Moret after nearly getting stopped earlier in the bout.
Moret had Carlyle in trouble with chokes during the first round of the fight, threatening him in two different instances with a guillotine choke attempt.
Moret connected with a series of punches that hurt a tired Carlyle early in the second round. Carlyle slowed the momentum of Moret by attempting a takedown against the cage.
A series of knees to the body dropped Carlyle in the fourth minute of the second round. Showing his toughness, Caryle returned to the feet and continued to consume strikes by Moret.
Moret took the fight to the ground in the final minute of the second frame with a rear naked choke attempt. Letting go of the choke eventually, Moret landed strikes from half guard until the round concluded.
Caryle’s comeback came early in the third round, as he took the back of Moret and put a rear naked choke under his chin. After fully flattening Moret out, the choke from Carlyle forced the fight to end.
Carlyle took the fight on short notice to replace a previous opponent for Moret. He has been on a wild run around numerous promotions after wrapping up a three-fight UFC run last year. He had scored three stoppage wins on the regional scene this year before Friday, including a victory in LFA and Cage Warriors.
Moret was riding the momentum of an upset win he earned in his Bellator debut earlier this year, defeating Goiti Yamauchi via split deciision in April.
Bout 1: Kyle Crutchmer (7-1) vs. Oliver Enkamp (10-2) (Welterweight)
Crutchmer Uses Wrestling For Decision Win
Kyle Crutchmer’s wrestling skills earned him a win to open the prelims, fighting to a unanimous decision victory over Oliver Enkamp (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Crutchmer took Enkamp down roughly a dozen times throughout the fight. Enkamp was active with searching for submissions on the ground in the early rounds, but as the fight progressed he got significantly more tired and started to resist the wrestling of Crutchmer less.
Crutchmer is now on a two-fight winning streak. His previous showing was a decision win over Levan Chokheli earlier this year.
Enkamp, a former UFC fighter who was on a three-fight winning streak, was competing for the first time in over a year.