As expected, Sergio Pettis’ first defense for his Bellator bantamweight title will be against former concurrent Bellator and RIZIN champion Kyoji Horiguchi.
The promotion announced the game on Wednesday, making the highly anticipated showdown the main event for Bellator 272 on Friday, December 3 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Showtime will broadcast the main card, with preliminaries available via a live stream on YouTube.
Pettis (21-5) signed with Bellator MMA as a free agent in late 2019 after ending his UFC career with a victory over Tyson Nam. After never securing a stopping victory in the UFC, he made his Bellator debut with a spectacular submission from Alfred Khashakyan in January 2020. Following a decision over Ricky Bandejas, Pettis won the Juan Archuleta’s Bellator bantamweight title last May. Safe to say Sergio’s free agent decision paid off pretty well for him.
Horiguchi (29-3) contested the flyweight title while in the UFC, losing by armband to Demetrious Johnson in 2015. His days inside the Octagon ended in 2016, but he is became an instant hit in his native Japan once he signed with RIZIN FF. He climbed back to 135 pounds, won the promotion grand prize, and smothered Darrion Caldwell for the inaugural bantamweight belt. Horiguchi then moved on to Bellator and took that title away from Caldwell, but a knee injury forced him to give up both titles. After a shock loss to Kai Asakura in an untitled affair, Horiguchi took revenge in the rematch and became RIZIN champion again.
Last month, Horiguchi signed a contract with Bellator MMA but he will remain RIZIN champion and is still expected to compete with both promotions once COVID-19 restrictions ease.
The Bellator 272 main card has not been announced, but Josh Hill v Jared Scoggins and Keoni Diggs v John de Jesus have been confirmed for prelims.