Bellator 272 was an event that many had been looking forward to for weeks ever since the main event matchup of bantamweight champion, Sergio Pettis against Rizin Champion, Kyoji Horiguchi. Despite Scott Coker announcing a much anticipated Bantamweight Grand Prix, the two men in the main event wouldn’t let anyone else share the spotlight.
The fight didn’t disappoint, Horiguchi looked to be the matador to Pettis’ bull but eventually, the bull got through and scored what may end up being the knockout of the year.
Sergio Pettis Scores a KO of the Year, Heading into the Grand Prix Champion
The first three rounds were easily scored for Horiguchi as he was able to keep Pettis at a distance with faints and kicks, so much to the point that Pettis had landed just nine strikes heading into round four.
Horiguchi was dominating the striking and grappling, he would get occasional top positions against Pettis and was productive in those positions. It seemed as though he was cruising to a win and would become the Bellator champion again. The only problem was that Pettis had been throwing a spinning back fist strike from unique angles all night and in round four he would finally land one.
SPINNING BACKFIST KO?! 🤯
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) December 4, 2021
The combo that Pettis would land of a head kick into a spinning backfist is something many of us had never seen. When you add in the fact that he was down 3-0 on scorecards and it was for the title, it will be hard to not give him the knockout of the year. This whole thing though somehow makes the upcoming Bellator Grand Prix even more exciting.
What Does This Mean for the Bellator Grand Prix?
Before the fight, Raufeon Stots was calling out whoever would be champ after Bellator 272 but he thought it would be Kyoji Horiguchi. Rather now it is his teammate Sergio Pettis, which he has said he would fight but only for the belt.
This creates chaos not only for those two but for all eight men.
Yes, Pettis will be the champion entering the Grand Prix but some will see Horiguchi as the champion without the belt as well. Pettis had not been landing strikes all fight and the knockout spinning back fist was the only critical strike he landed all fight. It allows for both sides of the bracket that we imagine the headliners will be on will tons of excitement and expectations of a rematch in the finals.
So many matchups now to ponder but for now, it is all about Sergio Pettis, is this the start of a legendary run or is this just delaying the inevitable? We will have an answer in 2022 until then though, Pettis could not have more momentum or confidence heading into the new year.