After a challenging opening round, Ricky Bandejas put away Frans Mlambo in the second frame at Bellator 240 in Dublin on Saturday night.
Ricky Bandejas was thrust into the spotlight in 2018 thanks to his defeat of Irish star James Gallagher. Since then, he’d stumbled in a pair of fights against Juan Archuleta and Patrick Mix, but had bounced back in his last outing with a knockout of Ahmet Kayretli.
Saturday night in Dublin, Ireland at Bellator 240, Bandejas was paired up with Frans Mlambo in a main-card bantamweight bout. Yet while Mlambo entered the night on a three-fight win streak (with two of those under the Bellator banner), it was Bandejas who left Dublin with another win under his belt.
Bandejas held center early, but slipped off the first attack by Mlambo. He’d take a few moments to settle in, and Mlambo was aggressive from the outset. Mlambo’s leg kick and lead right were proving to be a problem. Bandejas, however, continued to walk forward. Bandejas got his own leg kick going, forcing Mlambo to switch stances a handful of times.
As Mlambo closed the distance, Bandejas moved in for a single leg. However, that didn’t work out, and instead, just a bit later, a Mlambo attack would send Bandejas to the ground! That combination put Ricky Bandejas in a bad spot; Mlambo moved in looking for a rear-naked choke, but Bandejas reversed and got on top.
The second round was a different story. While Bandejas was under fire often in the opening frame, he opened with a high kick in round two. He then nearly caught a kick. Next he’d go to the body with a kick, following that up with a punch. Bandejas fanned on a right, and for a moment, Mlambo looked like he might take over in the second round as well. But Mlambo caught a kick, opening himself up to a pair of right hooks that stunned and dropped him. A handful of unanswered hammer fists followed. The ref quickly waved it off, and while Frans Mlambo protested the stoppage, he wasn’t defending at least a couple of those blows.
Official Result: Ricky Bandejas def. Frans Mlambo by knockout (punches), Round 2, 1:25