Bellator MMA is set to have its first card since Bellator 240 on February 22nd. Bellator canceled all events on their schedule as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and Combate’s Raphael Marinho reports that Bellator will return on July 24th at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. Marinho was the first to report that the card will be headlined with a bantamweight main event between Sergio Pettis and Ricky Bandejas.
Pettis is looking to have a fresh start in his career with Bellator. Pettis had been a veteran in the UFC and was a notable contender in the UFC flyweight division. Pettis left the UFC with a win against Tyson Nam by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 159 on September 21, 2019. He made his Bellator debut at bantamweight with a win over Alfred Khashakyan at Bellator 238 on January 25. Now in a different weight class, Pettis is looking to become a title contender in the Bellator bantamweight division.
Bandejas will look to spoil halt Pettis’s success in Bellator. Bandejas is known for knocking out Bellator prospect James Gallagher at Bellator 204 in the first round. This was when Gallagher was undefeated at 7-0 and looked unstoppable. Bandejas is also on a two-fight win streak in which he had knocked out his opponents. A win over Pettis will get Bandejas name in the conversation as a contender for the Bellator bantamweight championship.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) July 15, 2020
Helwani reports that Bellator 242 was supposed to be Juan Archuleta vs. Patrick Mix for the vacant bantamweight title as the main event. However, Archuleta was forced to withdraw for undisclosed reasons. Bellator 242 will also feature Bellator featherweight prospect Aaron Pico vs Chris Hatley Jr. Former UFC veteran Jordan Mein will make his Bellator debut against Jason Jackson at welterweight as the co-main event on the card.