Los Angeles, CA — Cris Cyborg wasn’t the only former UFC star making their promotional debut at Bellator 238. Along with Cyborg, Sergio Pettis was making the jump to a new home.
He entered Bellator’s bantamweight division off a win over Tyson Nam at flyweight. Welcoming him was Alfred Khashakyan, a fighter with a 100% finishing rate through eleven wins.
It was Pettis finding the finish on Saturday, however. While the fight came close to being called a TKO, an arguably late stoppage led to Pettis switching to a guillotine choke to earn the win three minutes into the first round.
Pettis himself was surprised Khashakyan hung in there through the initial onslaught. “Yeah, I was surprised. I hit him like eight times in the face. He was tough, he wasn’t out,” he told Cageside Press and other media outlets following the fight.
Pettis then realized he either needed to knock him out cold, or get the submission. “Tried them both, and sh*t, I did one of them!” It was hard to tell if there was a tap. Pettis confirmed he felt his opponent go to sleep. “I felt him go out. And so I told the ref, ‘he’s out.’ Yeah, he was out.”
While Pettis isn’t one to call out names, it’s clear there’s some big opportunities on the horizon, with Bellator’s bantamweight title vacant. Asked if he could be back soon, Pettis answered that “My foot’s a little tender. We’ll see how I feel in a two days. But my face looks good, body feels good other than that. So I’m ready to fight again if they want me to fight.”
Leading up to the fight, Pettis was adamant that his debut in the Bellator cage was just like any other fight. Following the win, he admitted that there were some nerves. “The whole time, I didn’t want to tell you guys, I gotta keep that poker face. It was definitely a lot different than what I was used to.”
“I was in the UFC for six years. Things were ran different, things were just a little different,” he said. “But it was good. Everyone was cool here, everyone was very welcoming and nice to me. Big shout out to Bellator for that, thank you guys.”
Watch the full Bellator 238 post-fight press conference with Sergio Pettis above!