While he’s never fought at featherweight as a pro, 135lb’er Ricky Bandejas is definitely interested in the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix. First, however, he meets Patrick Mix at Bellator 222.
New York, NY — Bantamweight prospect Ricky Bandejas returns to action at Bellator 222, coming off just the second loss of his pro career. That came against Juan Archuleta, a decision loss that saw Bandejas give his opponent some serious problems. Now, he’s looking to bounce back against Patrick Mix, a fellow prospect, and undefeated fighter at 10-0.
Speaking to Cageside Press ahead of the bout, Bandejas (11-2) spoke of how it felt to be the more established name for a change.
“It feels good, you know,” he noted, adding that “you got to remember to stay on your toes. Like me, he’s got something to prove.”
And it’s MMA. Anything can happen in a fight. As for what he’s anticipating from Mix, “I expect him to be hungry, aggressive, and looking for a finish.”
The fight goes down on the main card at Bellator 222, at New York’s historic Madison Square Garden. That adds something special for Bandejas, who said “it feels really good. It adds a lot of fuel to the fire. I’m from New Jersey, which is in the Tri-State, it’s the mecca of MMA and boxing.”
His last opponent, Archuleta, is also on the card, taking on a former champion in Darrion Caldwell. “That’s a good one. That’s exciting, they’re both top fifteen fighters,” Bandejas said of the pairing. “Exciting match-ups, we’ll see who wins.”
That fight, however, is being contested at featherweight. Archuleta dropped weight to fight Bandejas, but he’s back up at 145lb this week, and likely a lock for the upcoming featherweight grand prix. Asked if the tournament would interest him, bantamweight Bandejas answered “Yeah, if the opportunity comes I would absolutely jump at 145. I would definitely do that tournament.”
He’s never fought there before as a pro, but “as an amateur, I fought at 147 a bunch of times.”
First up, however, is Patrick Mix. On how he envisions the fight ending, Bandejas predicted “me with the win, whether finish, the distance, whatever. I’m going to get the win.”
Bellator 222 goes down Friday, June 14 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The fights air live on DAZN.