Bellator 242 marks the promotions first event in five months as they return to action during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cageside Press has its picks set.

Staff Writers
Pico vs. Hatley Jr.
Claxton vs. Wilson
Jackson vs. Mein
Bandejas vs. Pettis
Ryan Fortune (70-30)
Keith Shillan (69-31)
Jay Anderson (61-39)
Joe McDonagh (59-41)
Josh Evanoff (56-44)
Mike McClory (29-22)
Dan Doherty (51-44)
Justin Gibbons (34-30)
Gabriel Gonzalez (53-47)
Eddie Law (36-32)
Dylan Bowker (45-41)
Ryan Jarrell (23-21)

The main event of Bellator 242 is a great opportunity for Ricky Bandejas as he takes on respected veteran Sergio Pettis. Bandejas has bounced back from his two consecutive losses with a pair of knockouts leading up to this fight. After a 9-5 run in the UFC, Pettis joined Bellator, where he won by guillotine in his promotional debut. Pettis was picked by eight of 12 writers.

The co-main event marks the promotional debut of Jordan Mein, who retired from the UFC in 2018 after going 5-4. He’ll be taking on Jordan Jackson, who is 1-1 in Bellator so far with a win over Kiichi Kunimoto most recently. All but two writers picked Mein in his debut.

Tywan Claxton looks to keep it going against Jay Jay Wilson. Claxton was part of the featherweight grand prix, but was eliminated by veteran Emmanuel Sanchez in the first round of the tournament. He’s since gotten back in the win column and is 6-1 in his career, which is all with Bellator. Wilson is an undefeated prospect at 5-0 and a jiu-jitsu specialist, submitting all of his opponents thus far. However, he missed weight for this bout. Claxton was unanimously picked.

Opening up the main card is wrestling prodigy Aaron Pico battling Solo Hatley Jr. Pico is 5-3 in his MMA career and won by knockout last time out after losing two straight fights. Hatley is 8-2 in his career and is coming off a promotional debut in which he upset Gaston Bolanos by decision. Pico was unanimously picked.