And still the champion! Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis finished his opponent with a spectacular one-punch knockout in Round 4 to defend his Bellator MMA Bantamweight Championship title.
As the last event of 2021, Pettis (22-5) came into the fight as the defending champion.
On Friday night, Pettis faced a tough challenger, former bantamweight division titleholder Kyoji Horiguchi (29-3). Fighting out of Takasaki, Japan, the 31-year-old is the current 135-pound champion in the Rizin Fighting Federation promotion. Horiguchi had earned the Bellator Bantamweight title in 2019 but was forced to vacate the belt because of a knee injury.
As the night’s headline fight started, Horiguchi left no doubt that he wanted his belt back. Returning from a twelve-month hiatus, the Japanese fighter pressured Pettis straight out the gate, landing damaging strikes and taking the champion to the canvas with flawless takedowns.