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Bellator 272 results, highlights: Sergio Pettis stunned with Kyoji Horiguchi’s one-punch knockout to retain

Bellator MMA bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis lost almost every second of his title defense on Friday against former fighter Kyoji Horiguchi, until he wasn’t.

Pettis (22-5) rallied late in round 4 to regain victory from the jaws of defeat by knocking Horiguchi down with a stunning back-spinning punch in the main event of Bellator 272. End the violence inside Mohegan The Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, spoils what had been a perfect return to promotion to Horiguchi, who was forced to vacate the 135-pound Bellator title he won in 2019 due to a knee injury.

Horiguchi (April 29), a 31-year-old boxer from Japan, left the cage on a stretcher after the knockout match and was transported to a local hospital, according to Bellator officials. The fourth round ended at 3:24 after Pettis missed a high kick with his right foot and immediately turned into a knockout that the former RIZIN champion never saw.

Pettis, 28, said throughout the week that he doesn’t consider himself a true Bellator champion, despite disqualifying Juan Archuleta for the title in May, because Horiguchi has never lost his belt in the cage.

“I don’t know if that doesn’t signify that anymore,” Pettis said. “I’ve been out here and lost for almost four full innings. I came out and told myself I was losing this game and needed to do something spectacular to turn the tide. position.”

The harsh criticism Pettis has for his performance leading up to the knockout stages is not without merit. Horiguchi, who ended 12 months of layoff, was near flawless in executing three more rounds and seems well on his way to becoming the best 135-pound boxer on the planet.

Horiguchi took out Pettis with ease in the first round and often beat his opponent despite a range disadvantage by rushing in and out with clean hits. Not only was Pettis defeated, Horiguchi’s loose and unpredictable form more or less sent Pettis into a lethargic performance of frustration.

The only attack Pettis showed up in the first three rounds was a kick from his back in Round 2, which opened a cut below Horiguchi’s right eye. Pettis also suffered a nosebleed at the time of the knockout when Horiguchi began to sense Pettis’ desperation and frequently landed with hard hits.

“I needed to face some adversity and tonight, Horiguchi gave me all of that,” Pettis said. “I had a hard time picking his timing and rhythm. I’m only 28 and this fight shows me that I still have a lot of work to do. I’ll be back in the gym soon.”

According to BD-Sport Inc., Horiguchi surpassed Pettis in total hits by a margin of 73-19, according to BD-Sport Inc.

The win was the fifth straight win for Pettis and his fourth since leaving the UFC to sign with Bellator in late 2019. Pettis, younger brother of former UFC lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” ” Pettis, scored his first knockout victory since 2013 in the framework of the RFA flag.

Horiguchi previously won 7-1 in the UFC with a single defeat to Demetrious Johnson in their 2015 flyweight title fight. He won all of his next 13 matches, including a 9-1 win over RIZIN.

Both Pettis and Horiguchi will participate Bellator MMA Bantamweight World Grand Prix The tournament was announced in the card on Friday. The eight-man draw begins in 2022 with the £135 title and a US$1 million prize pool for the winner.

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https://www.cbssports.com/mma/news/bellator-272-results-highlights-sergio-pettis-stuns-with-one-punch-knockout-of-kyoji-horiguchi-to-retain/ Bellator 272 results, highlights: Sergio Pettis stunned with Kyoji Horiguchi’s one-punch knockout to retain

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