Bellator 272: “Pettis vs. Horiguchi” will take place tomorrow night (Fri., Dec. 3, 2021) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Headlining the Showtime-televised event will be a Bantamweight title fight between champion Sergio Pettis taking on Kyoji Horiguchi.
In the co-headlining act, Emmanuel Sanchez will face Jeremy Kennedy in a pivotal Featherweight bout, while Johnny Eblen looks to remain undefeated when he takes on Collin Huckbody.
Sergio Pettis vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Sergio Pettis left UFC on a winning note, and he hasn’t stopped racking up the “W’s” since making his Bellator debut in Jan. 2020, winning three in a row including capturing the Bantamweight title at Bellator 258 with a dominant win over Juan Archuleta. But in his first title defense, “The Phenom” will have a stiff test when he battles form division champion Kyoji Horiguchi. The current RIZIN 135-pound champion never got to defend the strap due to a torn ACL, forcing him to vacate it. That’s why he feels he is still the true champion of the weight class. Horiguchi has long been known as one of the top Bantamweights on the planet, enjoying a successful UFC run before leaving the promotion on a three-fight win streak. Over the last six years, Kyoji has only lost twice, once to Demetrious Johnson and then to Kai Asukara, a loss he avenged immediately after. While Pettis has come into his own, Horiguchi will be too much for him. I don’t expect a blowout but Kyoji is a bit more experienced and just a tad bit better everywhere. I expect “The Phenom” to put on a fight, but in the end Horiguchi will reclaim the belt he never lost in what will prove to be a back-and-forth battle.
Final prediction: Horiguchi via unanimous decision
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Jeremy Kennedy
A former two-time Featherweight title contender, Emmanuel Sanchez has fallen on tough times as of late. Indeed, Sanchez has dropped two straight at the hands of ex-title holder Patricio Freire and rising contender Mads Burnell. It’s the first time he’s dropped two in a row in his entire career, but losing three in a row could be detrimental to his title aspirations. Ranked No. 4 at the moment, Sanchez will look to get back on track against Kennedy, the No. 9 ranked fighter in the weight class who is also in need of a win. Kennedy is coming off a loss to Adam Borics, snapping his three fight win streak. The former UFC vet could make some noise and shake up the division with a win over Sanchez, but I just don’t see it happening on this night. Sanchez has great striking and grappling, and while Kennedy is no slouch in either department, Sanchez is just a tad bit better in all areas.
Final prediction: Sanchez via second round submission
Johnny Eblen vs. Collin Huckbody
Johnny Eblen has quietly been moving up the Middleweight ranks, winning his first five fights under the Bellator banner to improve his record to 9-0, earning him the No. 5 spot in the process. Of his five wins, Eblen has finished his foes in the first round, so he knows how to end the job as quickly as it starts. While I don’t want to say this fight is a layup for Eblen, it’s no an ideal scenario for Huckbody. No disrespect to him, but coming in to make your Bellator debut against the No. 5 ranked and undefeated fighter isn’t the easiest of tasks. It’s not to say Huckbody isn’t skilled — he has a record of 10-3 — but Eblen has a bit more polish to his game. especially when it comes to the standup department. On the flip side, it’s great chance for Huckbody to make a splash and cause a big shakeup by taking out a Top 5 opponent in his promotional debut.
Final prediction: Eblen via first round knockout
Josh Hill vs. Jared Scoggins
Ranked No. 7 in the Bantamweight division, Josh Hill will look to get back on the winning track after suffering a loss to Raufeon Stots at Bellator 258 this past summer. Prior to the loss, Hill was on a five-fight win streak. He will be facing Jared Scoggins, who will be making his Bellator debut. “Psycho” has won five in a row and 10 of 11 overall. He didn’t get off on the right foot to his Bellator career, though, after he missed weight by four pounds. As a result, the fight will be taking place at a catchweight of 140 pounds and Hill will get a percentage of his fight purse. If Hill can stop Scoggins’ hot run, he could move up a spot or two in the rankings. For Hill, he can make up for his scale fail by putting on a good performance and upsetting the No. 7 ranked bantamweight in the promotion. I expect this fight to be tightly-contested and will go the distance. In the end, Hill’s wrestling will prove to be the difference maker, putting him back in the winner’s circle.
Final prediction: Hill via unanimous decision
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