29 Jul [MMA] 
Sergio Pettis wants to start finishing fights, unsure if win over Ricky Bandejas secures title shot

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Despite Sergio Pettis scoring a one-sided win over Ricky Bandejas at Bellator 242, he sees more room to grow.

Pettis (20-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) defeated Bandejas (13-4 MMA, 3-3 BMMA) via unanimous decision in the main event last Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena, going 2-0 to start off his Bellator tenure. Pettis was able to outpoint a dangerous Bandejas throughout 15 minutes, but he acknowledges that he’ll likely have to start putting guys away if he wants to cement himself as the No. 1 contender at bantamweight.

“I’m critical of my own performance,” Pettis told reporters, including MMA Junkie, post-fight at Bellator 242. “Obviously I want to go out there and start finishing people more and more. Ricky was tough, so I had to play a smarter game plan. I went out there and did what I had to do, but there’s more to come. …

“He got me with a nice little takedown, scored some points, got on top. I didn’t get back up to my feet as quick as I wanted to. I didn’t defend the takedown the way I wanted to, but it was just a fight that I had to go out there and react.”

One particular fighter who kept a close eye on the Bellator 242 main event was James Gallagher, who called for the winner of Pettis vs. Bandejas. But Pettis isn’t interested in a potential fight with Gallagher, taking a cheeky jab at the brash Irish prospect, who was stopped in the first round when he faced Bandejas in 2018 at Bellator 204.

“I don’t know if it was a statement for a title shot,” Pettis said. “I think it was just another good win on my resume. I beat a tough Ricky Bandejas. I showed Gallagher that’s how you do it, though. That’s how you defend yourself. Those punches and those kicks, if you learn defense, you can block that (expletive).”

He continued, “He’s got to work his way up to get me. He’s gotta get a couple more wins under his belt and beat some notable guys. If he can beat Ricky Bandejas then he deserves to fight me, no matter how many followers you got on Instagram.”