- Bellator holds its first event since the COVID-19 pandemic on July 24th
- A bantamweight title eliminator headlines the card
- See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full Bellator main card below
Bellator is back.
The promotion hasn’t been able to operate since their March 13th event was cancelled at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, finally able to return at Bellator 242 on Friday, July 24th.
In the main event UFC veteran Sergio Pettis is set for his second fight in the promotion, as he takes on the always entertaining Ricky Bandejas.
Bellator has called this a title eliminator fight as the winner will take on the winner of Juan Archuleta vs. Patrick Mix. The co-main event sees Jordan Mein making his Bellator debut against Jason Jackson.
Bellator 242’s main card airs live on Paramount Network and DAZN at 10 p.m. EST. The table below shows odds for the entire main card at two different sportsbooks, followed by best bets for the event.
Bellator 242 Odds
|Fighter||Book 1 Odds||Book 2 Odds|
|Jay Jay Wilson||+190||+200|
|Solo Hatley Jr.||+375||+525|
All odds taken July 22
Can Pettis Go 2-0 in Bellator Competition?
Sergio Pettis (19-5) is coming off a phenomenal first-round submission win over Alfred Khashakyan in his Bellator debut. Before that, the younger Pettis brother beat Tyson Nam in the UFC to return to the win column.
The natural flyweight had a ton of success in the octagon where he has notable wins over Joseph Benavidez, Brandon Moreno, and John Moraga. In Bellator, there is no 125-pound weight class, so he is fighting at bantamweight.
Ricky Bandejas (13-3) is on a two-fight winning streak after dropping two in a row in Bellator after a successful promotional debut. In his last two fights, the American Top Team product scored KO-wins over Frans Mlambo and Ahmet Kayretli.
In Bellator, he did lose by submission to Patrick Mix and a decision loss to Juan Archuleta, but many media scored the fight for him. He also does have a notable KO win over James Gallagher in his promotional debut.
Given this is Bellator’s return event, many fans were expecting a stacked card. When the UFC returned for UFC 249 you saw them come back with one of the best cards of Dana White’s tenure. Bellator, meanwhile, does have some notable names on the card – but doesn’t have a single title fight on it.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 26, 2020
Although there is no title fight, the main event between Sergio Pettis and Ricky Bandejas should be phenomenal. They are two of the best bantamweights in the world and evenly matched. On the feet, I believe Bandejas will be the better striker but on the ground, Pettis’ jiu-jitsu is much better.
In this fight, I believe Bandejas will start off using his height and reach advantage to keep Pettis at range and piece him up. I expect Pettis to be able to eventually close the distance and use his striking and takedowns to start controlling the fight.
This is a very evenly matched fight which I expect will go the distance but I believe the wrestling and volume of Pettis will be enough to earn a hard-fought three-round decision win.
Pick: Sergio Pettis (-142)
Pettis vs Bandejas Key Stats
Other Bellator 242 Picks:
- Jason Jackson (-175): Jason Jackson opened as an underdog and if you got him there you got a steal. I believe Jackson will be able to land the KO punch on Mein and at -175 I still think there is some value here.
- Tywan Claxton (-235): Claxton is the better striker and should be able to keep it standing to earn a decision win. But, at -235 it is hard to lay that kind of chalk on him.
- Aaron Pico (-600): Aaron Pico should win this fight, but here is no way you can lay -600 on the former top prospect in MMA after being finished three times in his career already.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.