Bellator 246 Recap: Juan Archuleta captures the bantamweight title

Juan Archuleta

Tonight, Bellator hosted it’s second event in the last two days. A solid night was headlined by the vacant bantamweight title fight between Patrick “Patchy” Mix (13-0) and Juan Archuleta (24-2). This was one of the Bellator fights I was really looking forward to this year.

Both of these men are two of the very best that Bellator has to offer. Mix came in undefeated with extremely slick skills on the ground. Archuleta is a vet who has only lost once since 2015. Both men came in with a ton of momentum looking to become a Bellator champ.

Early Dominance from Patchy Mix

The main event of the evening was set to crown the new Bellator bantamweight champion. Patchy Mix and Juan Archuleta both came out ready to take the title and establish themselves as one of the best bantamweights in the world.

The first round really showed off the elite ground skills of Patchy Mix. Mix was able to get Archuleta down in the first round, and he controlled the majority of the round from Archuleta’s back. The second round saw much of the same.

The two fighters got into a grappling exchange early in the second, and Mix was able to secure the back again. In this round however, Archuleta was able to reverse the position with about one minute left in the round.

Archuleta had some good moments, but I had it 2-0 for Patchy Mix through two. The third round saw a complete switch in the momentum. Mix looked tired to start the third, and Archuleta really put his foot on the gas ripping shots to the head and the body.

Championship Experience pays off for Archuleta

The third round was a clear win for Archuleta. Mix had never been to a fourth round in his career, and it looked like it based on his energy levels to start the round. Archuleta was really stifling Mix with his level changes and speed. Archuleta even landed a takedown in the fourth round.

Patchy Mix did start to find his range late in the fourth, but the round still belonged to Archuleta. Mix did look like he was starting to catch a second wind as the fourth round came to a close. I had it 2-2 going into the final round.

Juan Archuleta put on a show in the final round of the fight. Archuleta unleashed a fury of devastating body shots the really seemed to hurt Mix throughout the round. Mix was game in the fifth, but Archuleta’s experience really paid off in the championship rounds.

I gave the fight 3-2 to Archuleta and all three judges agreed scoring the contest (49-46, 48-47, 48-47). Archuleta captures that Bellator championship that has alluded him. I would not be surprised if these two stood across from each other again in the future.

Bellator 246 Results

Bellator 246 saw former UFC title challenger, Liz Carmouche (14-7), make her promotional debut. She took on DeAnna Bennett (10-7-1). Carmouche had to deal with some adversity in the second round of the fight, but she went on to secure a Rear Naked Choke in the third round.

In the co-main event of the evening, Jon Fitch (32-8-2, 1 NC) took on Neiman Gracie (10-1). Fitch had moments in this one, but when you’re on the ground with a Gracie, bad things can happen. Gracie locked up a nice Heel Hook to secure his seventh Bellator submission victory.