Bellator 242: Bandejas vs Pettis Picks

Bellator 242: Bandejas vs Pettis goes down Friday, July 24th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The prelims are set to begin at 8:45 PM (ET) and the main card at 10:00 PM (ET).

Main Card

Sergio Pettis def. Ricky Bandejas

Bandejas broke into Bellator with a 1st round knockout over the heavily hyped James Gallagher. Gallagher was talking a lot of smack and Bandejas finished him with an impressive head kick and punches. He’s a patient, technical striker, and he has solid power. Pettis is fresh off a 1st round submission in his Bellator debut earlier this year. At just 26 years old, he already has 6 years of UFC experience. He’s been competing against elite guys like Henry Cejudo, Joseph Benavidez, Brendan Moreno, Jussier Formiga, etc. Having the confidence of competing and winning at that level should give him a decisive edge over Bandejas. Take Pettis to get it done.

Jordan Mein def. Jason Jackson

Jackson is 2-1 in Bellator and the loss came via a split-decision to Ed Ruth. He’s been more active, fighting 4 times since Mein last fought. He’s competed professionally for 8 years and trains at Hard Knocks 365 around guys like Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns. Jordan Mein will be making his Bellator debut against Jackson. Mein left the UFC on a 2-fight winning streak, with his last coming via unanimous decision over Alex Morono. He’s a well-rounded, aggressive fighter with 23 finishes out of his 31 wins. I expect the experience of Mein to be the difference in this one. He has 43 professional fights and many of them against UFC caliber opponents. I also expect him to be in good form after taking a two year break from the sport and giving his body and mind some time to recover. Take the plus money on Mein.

Jay Jay Wilson def. Tywan Claxton

These are two exciting prospects rising through the Bellator ranks. The lone loss on Claxton’s record (6-1-0) came a year ago via submission to the 2nd ranked featherweight Emmanuel Sanchez. Claxton is a former collegiate wrestler and he’s rounding out his striking. Jay Jay Wilson is undefeated (5-0-0) but this will certainly be his toughest test yet. He’s a suffocating grappler with 4 submissions in only 5 fights. His gameplan is simple, but extremely effective; and I don’t think Claxton will be able to stop it. Wilson should be the bigger, stronger guy; and I expect him to eventually find Claxton’s neck. Enjoy the +200 on Jay Jay Wilson.

Aaron Pico def. Solo Hatley Jr.

Pico is a phenomenal prospect with a decorated youth martial arts career. He’s a multi-time national champion in wrestling and also a Junior Golden Gloves Champion. He has a tendency to get a bit reckless and he’s going to have to be much sharper defensively. It’s been an exciting style to watch but it’s not sustainable for his career and he’s far too technical to be losing to guys like Adam Borics and Henry Corrales. Solo Hatley Jr. is coming off a split-decision win over another rising talent Gaston Bolanos in his Bellator debut. He’s a good athlete but he relies on takedowns to get it done and he has no chance to do that against Pico.

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