It’s been a chaotic few months outside of the cage for Bellator MMA. Although reports exist regarding a sale of Bellator to the Professional Fighters League (PFL), nothing official has been confirmed.
Bellator 301 (Friday, 9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT, Showtime) from Wintrust Arena in Chicago is the final show of the 2023 calendar of events for the promotion and also the final event from Bellator to air on the Paramount Global-owned cable network.
Showtime is leaving combat sports behind when the year ends and intends to focus its efforts on scripted content. Premier Boxing Champions is scheduled to hold a pay-per-view event under the Showtime Sports banner during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to close out the 37-year run of Showtime Championship Boxing.
Championship Unification the Focus of Bellator 301 Main Event
All told, Bellator 301 features 18 total bouts, absent of any postponements between now and Friday evening. Highlighting the night’s activities is a championship doubleheader, beginning with a unification battle in the Bellator 301 co-main event.
Incumbent Bellator MMA Bantamweight Champion Sergio Pettis (23-5 MMA, 5-0 Bellator) puts his permanent title at risk when he battles current Bellator MMA Interim Bantamweight Champion Patchy Mix (18-1 MMA, 7-1 Bellator) in the co-headlining bout. As with most MMA championship bouts, the Bellator 301 co-main event is an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.
🔥 TWO TITLE FIGHTS 🔥
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 11, 2023
Bellator 301 Co-Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the Bellator 301 co-main event on Friday night in the Windy City, Patchy Mix stands as the taller competitor at 5-foot-11, compared to the 5-foot-6 frame of Sergio Pettis. Mix owns a 2 1/2-inch reach advantage (71 1/2 inches to 69 inches even) over Pettis ahead of this fight.
As of Monday afternoon, the oddsmakers have Patchy Mix installed as a -275 favorite on the money line, with Sergio Pettis countering as a +200 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Sergio Pettis Returns to Scene of Last Win for Bellator 301 Co-Main Event
Sergio Pettis has posted a 5-0 record over his last five fights as part of his current six-fight winning streak. Back in June, he scored a unanimous decision victory against Patricio Pitbull [Patricio Freire] (35-7 MMA, 23-6 Bellator) during Bellator 297 inside the very same Wintrust Arena where Bellator 301 takes place this coming weekend.
After the fight, Pettis met with the assembled media backstage, where he expressed concerns that he’d come away the loser on the night.
“I thought I was going to lose this, frankly,” Pettis began. “I ain’t going to lie. I was telling my girl, ‘Hey, if I lose to anybody, it’s okay to lose to Patricio Pitbull. He’s a legend, so I didn’t think I was going to lose. I just had battles with my mind. I was kind of nervous, scared, all of the above, 14 months off, 18 months off from competing, so I kind of forgot how all this felt.”
With Pettis now back to a regular schedule and usual training regimen, will he be able to win again? Tune in Friday night and find out.
Patchy Mix Looks for Third Straight Stoppage Victory
In the other corner, Patchy Mix is sporting a 5-0 mark of his own over the last five bouts. Most recently, he defeated Raufeon Stots (19-2 MMA, 7-1 Bellator) with a first-round knockout (knee to the head) this past April during Bellator 295.
In so doing, Mix took the Bellator MMA Bantamweight World Grand Prix, winning the interim title and pocketing a $1 million (USD) jackpot along the way. More impressively, four out of his five wins during the current streak have come by way of stoppage.
The only time he had to have the judges factor into the official decision in this stretch happened in April of last year. That night in Hawaii, Mix fought Kyoji Horiguchi to a unanimous decision victory after five rounds in a Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal affair.
Throughout the last two years plus, Patchy Mix’s gameplan has been a simple one: Seek and destroy. He’s been following that to the letter and if he sticks to it again, he’ll have the permanent 135-lb. belt around his waist after the Bellator 301 co-main event.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the Bellator 301 co-main event looks to favor Sergio Pettis, a decorated combat athlete with a 2nd-dan black belt in Taekwondo and black belts in both Roufusport kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, compared to Patchy Mix’s black belt in BJJ.
Watch for Pettis’ Ground Game
Given that Sergio Pettis has a black belt in BJJ, he’s adept on the cage mat. Once he takes a guy down, it could be a wrap.
The footage of Pettis’ Bellator MMA promotional debut vs. Alfred Kashakyan is a textbook example. During the first round of a scheduled three, Pettis continually stalked Kashakyan throughout, waiting to make that big move. It came two minutes and 40 seconds into the fight when he scored a knockdown. For a brief moment, Pettis looked like he was headed for a knockout, but he switched to a submission.
No matter how Pettis attacked Kashakyan, there was no way that the latter would find his way out of his predicament. He locked up a guillotine choke in exactly three minutes to begin his march to the title.
Look for Sergio Pettis to bide his time in the Bellator 301 co-main event. If he’s able to catch Patchy Mix in a tight spot, that could give him the momentum to take control of the fight.
Can Mix Write a Quick Ending to the Story?
In the other corner, don’t blink when Patchy Mix is in the cage. There’s a good chance you might miss the entirety of the fight.
Raufeon Stots found this out the hard way in April. Upon connecting with a right-handed shot, Mix unloaded with a knee to Stots’ head. He was out with an audible thud right then and there.
One blow is all it will take for Mix to end the fight. If he lands the big shot right on the money, the story’s over in violent fashion.
For the final card of the year, Bellator is serving up a satisfying title fight twin-bill on Friday night. Anytime you have a championship unification battle, like in the Bellator 301 co-main event, you’ll have the potential for a great bout.
Prediction: Sergio Pettis by Unanimous Decision.