Uncasville, CT — Crediting a smart game plan, Sergio Pettis felt he went out and “did what I needed to do” Friday night at Bellator 242.
Picking up a key win over Ricky Bandejas, Pettis (20-5) is likely within striking distance of a title shot at bantamweight. Bellator, of course, doesn’t feature his old at 125lbs. But the younger Pettis brother now has two wins at bantamweight in his new home. With the title vacant following an injury to Kyoji Horiguchi, who better than Pettis to throw down for gold?
Despite a solid win, Pettis himself isn’t so sure. “I don’t know if that was a statement for a title shot. I feel like was just another way of building up my resume. Beating a tough Ricky Bandejas,” Pettis told media outlets in attendance backstage at the Mohegan Sun Arena, including Cageside Press. “Tell [James] Gallagher that’s how you do it though,” he added. “Those punches, those kicks, if you learn defense, you can block that sh*t.
Despite the slight at Gallagher, who was posterized by Bandejas when they met, don’t expect a pairing between Pettis and the Irish star any time soon. At least not if Pettis gets his way.
“He’s got to work his way up to get me. He’s got to get a couple more wins under his belt,” suggested Pettis. “If he can get through Ricky Bandejas, then he deserves to fight me. No matter how many followers he’s got on Instagram.”
Pettis will take some time to regroup now, and see how body responds to Friday’s fight. In the meantime, he commented on how things came together for his first headlining spot in Bellator, given the difficult circumstances.
“I think the organization did a great job for the first card back [from the pandemic]. Very professional, very clean. It was everything to a T. All the people behind the scenes at Bellator, thank you guys for making it possible,” he said.
Pettis also commented on the bond he has with his brother, former UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis.
“It’s been special for sure. We’ve got to see some great things together,” he stated. “We’ve got to train our asses off together, and we push each other to get better and better. It’s been a great, great experience.”