As expected, Sergio Pettis’ first defense of his Bellator bantamweight title will be against former simultaneous Bellator and RIZIN champion Kyoji Horiguchi.
The promotion announced the matchup on Wednesday, setting this highly anticipated showdown as the main event of Bellator 272 on Friday, December 3rd at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Showtime will broadcast the main card, with prelims available through a YouTube live stream.
Pettis (21-5) signed with Bellator MMA as a free agent in late 2019 after ending his UFC career with a win over Tyson Nam. After never getting a stoppage win in the UFC, he debuted in Bellator with a spectacular submission of Alfred Khashakyan in January 2020. Following a decision over Ricky Bandejas, Pettis won the Bellator bantamweight title from Juan Archuleta this past May. Safe to say that Sergio’s free agent decision has paid off quite well for him.
Horiguchi (29-3) challenged for the flyweight title when he was in the UFC, losing by armbar to Demetrious Johnson way back in 2015. His days inside the Octagon ended in 2016, but he became an instant hit in his native Japan once he signed with RIZIN FF. He went back up to 135 lbs, won the promotion’s grand prix, and choked out Darrion Caldwell for the inaugural bantamweight belt. Horiguchi later crossed over to Bellator and took that title off of Caldwell, but a knee injury forced him to vacate both titles. After a shock loss to Kai Asakura in a non-title affair, Horiguchi got revenge in the rematch and became RIZIN champ again.
Last month, Horiguchi signed a contract with Bellator MMA but he will remain RIZIN champ and is expected to still compete with both promotions once COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Bellator 272’s main card hasn’t been announced but Josh Hill vs. Jared Scoggins and Keoni Diggs vs. John de Jesus have been confirmed for the prelims.
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