Ricky Bandejas Can’t Imagine Not Getting Caldwell Next With a Win at Bellator 214

With both himself and opponent Juan Archuleta on impressive win streaks, Ricky Bandejas fully expects to be in the title picture with a win at Bellator 214.

Los Angeles, CA — Can lightening strike twice? That’s the question facing Ricky Bandejas on Saturday night at Bellator 214. Bandejas (11-1) exploded on the radar when he joined Bellator’s bantamweight division last year, and scored a shock upset over rising Irish star James Gallagher. That head kick knockout made ESPN, and made Bandejas a star.

It also earned him a fight against one of the toughest foes in the 135lb division in Bellator: Juan Archuleta. ‘The Spaniard’ sits at 21-1, on a sixteen fight win streak. In a division where champ Darrion Caldwell has already cleaned out most of his competition, the winner could be in line for a title shot.

“The credentials are on him, and me. 11-1, 21-1. Both on a killer streak,” is how Bandejas summed up the pairing when speaking to Cageside Press ahead of Bellator 214. “Caldwell beat most of the top guys, so I can’t imagine the next one not getting the title fight.”

The only wrench in the works is that Caldwell will next fight Kyoji Horiguchi of RIZIN. The pair met just last month, at RIZIN FF’s New Year’s Eve show. Horiguchi got the win, and the RIZIN bantamweight title. He’ll now try invading Bellator. Whoever comes out with the title, the winner of Bandejas vs. Archuleta could be next.

Archuleta, of course, is no easy out. “Very tough, he’s durable, comes to fight. So I’m expecting a hard battle.” Then again, Gallagher was tough as well. That fight led to one major difference for Ricky Bandejas: “Social media grew. Other than that, everything’s the same.”

Bandejas is wholly focused on his career heading into the fight. A high school wrestler, he wanted to continue competing, but college wasn’t in the cards. Then, an MMA gym opened up across from his home. The rest is history. “I love fighting, and that’s it. I don’t really have too many hobbies,” Bandejas admitted.

As for how he sees things going Saturday, “whatever it is, I’m coming out with a win. Whether it’s a knockout, a submission, a decision, I’m definitely coming out with a win.”

Bellator 214 goes down Saturday, January 26 at The Forum in Los Angeles. Ricky Bandejas vs. Juan Archuleta is on the main card, airing on Paramount Network and DAZN.