Bellator 258 proved to be one of the crazier and more violent cards in recent memory, with a pair of doctor stoppages, a comeback KO, and a new champion crowned in the bantamweight division. Let’s look back at the results and highlights from Friday’s show at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Sergio Pettis def. Juan Archuleta by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) to become the new Bellator bantamweight champion
The former UFC contender put on a tremendous and well-rounded display to end Archuleta’s title reign in just his first defense. Pettis did an excellent job of shutting down Archuleta’s wrestling, either stuffing takedowns or getting up quickly when he was put on the mat. If it was a close fight in the early rounds, Pettis pulled away late thanks to superior striking and particularly off of the counter.
Pettis, a former flyweight, also flashed that flyweight speed and largely befuddled the dethrone champion throughout the contest on his way to a comfortable decision. His brother Anthony won lightweight titles in the WEC and UFC, and now he can lay claim to the Bellator bantamweight crown in just his third fight with the promotion. Afterward he called out Kyoji Horiguchi, which would be a highly intriguing matchup if made.
Anthony Johnson def. Jose Augusto by KO (punches) at 1:30 of round 2
Just pure madness to cap off the Bellator LHW tournament quarterfinals. Short notice replacement Jose Augusto hurt his right hand very early in the opening round and ‘Rumble’ was getting the better of exchanges in unsurprising news. Then in a dramatic turn of events, Augusto crushed Rumble with a left hook that stopped him in his tracks and wobbled him badly. The Brazilian eventually put him down with a right hand that perhaps on another day may have had a more quick trigger ref call for the stoppage. But Johnson, who’s notorious for not really doing well when faced with in-cage adversity, survived the onslaught and saw proceedings to round two.
Augusto fought on with his busted hand but the end would soon come and in brutal fashion. For as much punishment as Augusto absorbed in round one, he was felled by an overhand right that bounced his head off the canvas like a basketball. One more follow-up shot was all the ref needed to see and now we’ll see Anthony Johnson take on champ Vadim Nemkov in the semifinals of the tournament. The winner of that fight will face the winner of Corey Anderson vs. Ryan Bader. Hats off to Augusto for a valiant effort as a late replacement for Yoel Romero.
Peter Queally def. Patricky Freire by TKO (cut) at 0:01 of round 3
This was a somewhwat controversial fight. Patricky ‘Pitbull’ had great success with his leg kicks on SBG Ireland’s Peter Queally, but the biggest strike of the fight came late in round two off of a Pitbull takedown. From the bottom. Queally elbowed open the top of Freire’s head, causing blood to pour out. It was at the top of the head as mentioned before, and there was nothing to suggest it was obscuring Patricio’s vision, but the cutman couldn’t get the bleeding to stop and the doctor called it off. We’ve probably seen worse cuts not warrant a stoppage, but evidently it was just bleed city for the brother of two-division champ Patricio Freire.
They had to fill the cut with a whole pack of gauze.... it was THAT bad!— Corey 'Overtime' Anderson (@CoreyA_MMA) May 8, 2021
Most observers had it either 20-18 Freire or 19-19 at the time of the stoppage. The three judges at cageside had it 19-19, 19-19, and a wholly unjustifiable 20-18 Queally. It’s a big win for Queally against one of the top lightweight contenders in Bellator, and a really unfortunately loss for Pitbull, who must surely have felt he could’ve continued even with the bad cut. Queally called for a title shot against the champ, but Patricio has the featherweight title to deal with soon.
Michael Page def. Derek Anderson by TKO (broken nose) at 5:00 of round 1
Anderson worse his damage in what was a one-sided one-round fight. A head kick by ‘MVP’ dropped Anderson and flattened his nose into something straight out of a cartoon. For obvious reasons, the fight did not continue into round two. Page wins his first fight of the year and his third overall since his KO loss to current champion Douglas Lima. Anderson’s three-fight winning streak is over, having left the lightweight division back in 2018.
Preliminary Card Results
Raufeon Stots def. Josh Hill via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lorenz Larkin def. Rafael Carvalho via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Patchy Mix def. Albert Morales via submission (arm triangle) at 2:40 of round 3
Johnny Eblen def. Daniel Madrid via KO (punches) at 2:44 of round 1
Johnny Campbell def. Henry Corrales via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:12 of round 2
Johnny Soto def. Weber Almeida via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Erik Perez def. Blaine Shutt via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)