By Brian Woodman Jr.
(July 24 — Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT)
Bellator’s latest event, and its first since organizers cancelled Bellator 241 because of the Covid 19 Pandemic, offered only four fights on its main card and three in its preliminary card. But Friday evening’s event still yielded some highlights, including a high-kicking performance from Sergio Pettis (20-5) during the main event.
Ricky Bandejas (13-4) and Pettis exchanged went back and forth during the bantamweight fight, which went to an unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 30-27 in favor of Pettis, who adopted a defense stand-up posture while stalking Bandejas for much of the three rounds. Bandejas clinched with Pettis and the fighters went to the ground near the end of the first round. The fighters exchanged kicks and punches as the second round began — Pettis shot for a single leg later in the round and they went to the ground with Pettis on top. Pettis showed off a few high flying side kicks during the third round.
During the co-main event, Jason Jackson (12-4) defeated Jordan Mein (31-13) in a welterweight bout. All three judges scored it 30-27 and awarded Jackson an unanimous decision. The fighters went back and forth while Mein unsuccessfully attempted a single-leg takedown. They continued to exchange strikes during the second round as Mein stalked Jackson, who landed a knee to to Mein’s face and later attempted a choke. Mein attempted to elbow Jackson and later rushed for a takedown during the third round.
Jay Jay Wilson (6-0) earned a split decision win over Tywan Claxton (6-2) during a featherweight bout. One judge scored it 30-27 in favor of Claxton while the others scored it 29-28 and 30-27. Wilson attempted to apply a guillotine and later take Claxton’s back during the first round. But during the second round, Wilson attempted to throw his legs up around Claxton’s waist during a clinch — Claxton let Wilson fall on his ass and then pounced on him before throwing punches. The fighters clinched again during the third round and wound up on the ground, where Wilson attempted an arm triangle.
The main card opened with a featherweight bout between Aaron Pico (6-3) and Solo Hatley (8-3). Pico submitted Hatley with a rear naked choke at 2:10 in the first round. Pico used a single-leg takedown on Hatley and changed position a few times before finishing him .
Ras Hylton (6-4) earned an unanimous decision win over Rudy Schaffroth (6-2) in a heavyweight fight that opened the preliminary card. All three judges scored the bout 29-28. Schaffroth took the fight to the ground during the first and third rounds but was visibly exhausted in the third.
Raufeon Stots (14-1) submitted fellow bantamweight Cass Bell (5-1) with a rear naked choke at 1:24 in the third round during the next fight. It was an energetic bout with both fighters going for guillotines during the first round. There was more clinching the second, with Stots throwing hammer fists and elbows. Stots quickly took Bell’s back during the last round and ended the fight.
Mark Lemminger (1-1) defeated Jake Smith (7-4) by TKO at 4:46 in the second round of a welterweight bout. Lemminger took the fight to the ground during both rounds and mounted Smith’s side during the second before he grounded and pounded him and the referee waved the fight off.
(Editor’s note: there were changes to the preliminary card since our writers posted a preview of this event on our blog).