While fans were excited that the Pettis vs Mix bantamweight title fight was booked for Bellator 301 in Chicago, many were surprised to see that it was named to co-main event, instead of the main.
Not only are Sergio Pettis and Patchy Mix two of the biggest names that Bellator has to offer, but these elite warriors are just about guaranteed to produce one of the most thrilling fights we've seen in 2023 — regardless of promotion.
While the Pettis name is already etched in MMA history, one strike is all it might take for Sergio to add to that legacy. Patchy Mix, on the other hand, will look to get this fight on the ground as soon as possible and cage with gold wrapped around his waist.
All that's left to see is this Pettis vs Mix fight exceeds our lofty expectations.
Bellator 301: Pettis vs Mix Prediction
Sergio Pettis Prediction
After an up-and-down UFC career, Sergio Pettis has found his home in Bellator. The current bantamweight champion entered the promotion in early 2020 and proceeded to run through his entire division; winning five straight fights and increasing his professional record to 23-5.
Although only eight of Pettis' 23 wins have come by finish, we learned from his 2021 Knockout of the Year winner against Kyoji Horiguchi that, regardless of where in the fight Pettis is — or how he has performed in the fight to that point — that he's always one strike away from putting his opponent's lights out.
For that reason alone, Sergio Pettis being a modest +135 underdog is a surprising — and enticing — money line.
But it isn't just Pettis's knockout power that won him Bellator gold. He is an extremely well-rounded fighter, on the feet and on the ground — proven by him winning a unanimous decision against Bellator legend Patricio “Pitbull” Freire back in June.
If Pettis is able to nullify Patchy Mix's ground game and outclass him on the feet like he did to Pitbull (who would have weighed more on fight night than Mix will on Friday), this could end up being an easy night at the office for Sergio Pettis.
Patchy Mix Prediction
The Patchy Mix bandwagon is going full steam ahead, and doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
The 18-1 fighter with 12 submission finishes on his record bounced back from his only professional loss against Juan Archuleta in 2020 by rattling off five straight victories (four of which came by finish); capped off by him winning the Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix tournament and securing interim gold with a vicious KO victory over Raufeon Stots back in April.
But don't let that highlight knee strike fool you: Patchy Mix makes his money on the ground. Mix might not only be the best grappler in Bellator's bantamweight division, but he could be the best bantamweight in the entire world, as well.
His long limbs and flawless technique allow him to wrap his opponents up and put them to sleep before they even know what's happening — hence why, despite going up against the undisputed champ, Mix is a -200 favorite in this title fight. While this might surprise a fan who hasn't seen Mix fight before, they'll understand the hype once this fight ends.
Pettis vs Mix: The Submission Specialist Steals Gold
We predict that Patchy Mix will win this fight against Sergio Pettis by submission in the fifth round.
Although each fighter is entering this fight with a lot of momentum, we think that Patchy Mix will assert himself as the better overall fighter, and leave the cage with Pettis' bantamweight belt.
It's tough to imagine a scenario where this fight doesn't go to the ground, and once it gets there, Mix has the clear advantage in terms of securing a submission. But because Sergio Pettis' championship makeup must be respected, we don't think Mix will be able to find his finish until the final round.
Yet, every fight and round begins on the feet — hence why Mix would be wise to utilize his five-inch height advantage over Sergio Pettis in the striking. And while his knee against Stots should be enough to make Pettis think twice about any takedown attempt, Mix will need to remain diligent about his takedown defense.
But in terms of prop bets, we think Sergio Pettis to win by decision at +350 and Pettis to win by KO at +700 probably the best bets to make, in terms of value.
Pettis has fought nothing but killers, and has that champion's knack of always finding a way to win, regardless of the circumstances he often finds himself in.
He could be losing 24 straight minutes of this fight before pulling another incredible KO out of his hat, just like how he did against Horiguchi in 2021 — and he could do the same at Bellator 301. With that being said, we still believe Patchy Mix will emerge victorious at Bellator 301.
Pettis vs Mix is guaranteed to entertain. Expect chaos, bloodshed, and someone to leave the cage with a hard-won smile on their face.