Bellator 258 looks to be one of the organization’s most talent-stacked events to date. Juan Archuleta will attempt to defend his bantamweight title against a surging Sergio Pettis, whilst Anthony Johnson makes his long-awaited Bellator debut.
Juan ‘Spaniard’ Archuleta (25-2) vs Sergio ‘The Phenom’ Pettis (20-5)
Bellator’s bantamweight champ, Juan Archuleta, takes center stage at the top of Bellator 258. Facing off against him is ‘The Phenom,’ Sergio Pettis.
Juan Archuleta is one of Bellator’s most consistent fighters, having lost only one fight in his whole time with the organization. That loss was to Patricio ‘Pitbull,’ Bellator’s double champ and p4p number one. Alternatively, he has racked up 7 wins for Bellator, including victories over high-level opposition such as Patchy Mix and Henry Corrales.
Since transitioning over to Bellator from the UFC in 2020, Sergio Pettis has looked dominant. A submission stoppage over Alfred Khashakyan, as well as a unanimous decision victory over the highly touted Ricky Bandejas quickly ensured his status as the number 1 contender.
As is often the way, the champion goes into this fight as the favorite. Although Pettis’ experience against high-level opposition in the UFC may see him as an appealing bet to many.
Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson (22-6) vs Jose Augusto ‘Gugu’ Azevedo (7-2)
The name ‘Rumble’ Johnson once struck fear into every fighter in the middle and light heavyweight divisions. ‘Rumble’ was a near unstoppable force of nature, KOing elite UFC opposition such as Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, and Alexander Gustaffson. However, Johnson has been out of MMA since 2017, will ring rust be a factor?
Rumble’s original opponent was initially scheduled to be a fellow UFC veteran, in Yoel Romero. However, Romero failed Bellator’s pre-fight medical tests and was forced to drop out. Up stepped Jose Augusto Azevedo, a training partner of the Pitbull brothers. He has finished all 7 of his wins, 5 via ko, 2 via submission.
With Azevedo stepping up on short notice against such a veteran of the sport, he naturally picks up the underdog status. However, it remains to be seen how much Johnson’s time out of the sport will affect him.
Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire (23-9) vs Peter ‘The Showstopper’ Queally (12-5-1)
The war between gyms continues, as Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire takes on SBG’s Peter Queally. Straight Blast Gym Ireland and the Pitbull Brothers have been the cause of many a rivalry over the past few years. Explosive press conferences and social media flare-ups have been a mainstay.
This latest matchup sees Patricky Pitbull return to Bellator after a short hiatus at Rizin where he went 2-1. Having been placed straight in the Bellator lightweight rankings, Patricky is looking to secure a win that will guarantee a number one contender shot against Brent Primus.
Looking to upset Patricky’s goals is the Irish ‘Showtoper’ Peter Queally. Queally has been out of action since 2019, due to numerous fights falling through. However, he did show how devastating a striker he can be, KOing Ryan Scope his last time out.
Michael ‘Venom’ Page (18-1) vs Derek ‘The Barbaric’ Anderson (17-3)
One of Bellator’s most entertaining fighters, Michael ‘Venom’ Page, aka MVP, takes on a legitimately tough test in Derek Anderson.
MVP is coming off a dominant, if not spectacular, performance over Ross Houston in 2020. Whilst did not show off the flashy dynamism that initially made him such a star, he instead showed that he has a much more well-rounded game than his previous fights suggest.
Derek Anderson’s most recent fight ended in brutal fashion, as he landed a flush head kick on Killys Mota in 2020. He will now try to recreate a similar display against MVP, something only one man (Douglas Lima) has ever managed to achieve.