After losing his title at Bellator 258, what’s next for Juan Archuleta?

Juan Archuleta

This past Friday night at Bellator 258, Juan Archuleta (25-3) was attempting to defend his bantamweight title for the first time. Standing across the cage from him was Sergio Pettis (21-5) who was looking to stay undefeated in Bellator.

Since making his debut with the promotion back in 2018, Juan Archuleta had gone 7-1 in Bellator. His lone loss came to Patricio Pitbull when he moved up to featherweight to try and become a world champion.

However, his natural weight class was always 135. Late last year, he got his shot at the bantamweight title. Archuleta defeated Patchy Mix and became the undisputed bantamweight champion for Bellator.

However, he had a tall task in front of him for his first title defense. Sergio Pettis has really been coming into his own and he was ready to take the 135 pound title on Friday night.

When the fight started, Archuleta was trying to use his footwork and activity to frustrate Pettis. However, Pettis was having none of it and he was catching Archuleta clean coming in with counters. While Archuleta found some success, Pettis was just getting the better of him.

Ultimately, all three judges gave the fight and the Bellator bantamweight title to Sergio Pettis. Archuleta suffered just his third career loss and ultimately came up short in his first title defense.

What’s next after Bellator 258?

Unfortunately for Archuleta, he won’t be getting an immediate rematch. He didn’t have the type of reign leading up to Bellator 258 that would warrant an immediate rematch and the fight wasn’t close enough on the scorecards.

With that, he will have to fight a top contender next. Earlier today, I wrote a piece on what I thought would be next for Sergio Pettis. Bellator has some decisions to make in terms of his next title defense.

Right now, I think the two leading candidates for a title shot are Raufeon Stots (16-1) and Magomed Magomedov (18-1). One of those two men will likely get a crack at the Bellator bantamweight title next.

With that in mind, whoever doesn’t get the shot should fight Archuleta next. His stock doesn’t take a hit and he’s still going to be at the top of the division. So, whoever doesn’t get the title shot next, they should get a consolation prize in fighting the former champion.

After capturing bantamweight title at Bellator 258, what’s next for Sergio Pettis?

This past weekend at Bellator 258, Juan Archuleta (25-3) and Sergio Pettis (21-5) battled it out for the bantamweight title. Archuleta was looking to defend his title for the first time while Pettis was looking to become the second world champion in his family.

Throughout his MMA career, Sergio Pettis has lived in the shadow of his brother Anthony. The elder Pettis has been a UFC and WEC lightweight champion and with that, he’s garnered the majority of the attention.

That said, Sergio Pettis has been on a roll and he’s really taken off in Bellator. After a successful stint with the UFC, Pettis jumped ship to Bellator where he won his first two fights to earn him a shot at Archuleta on Friday night.

Heading into the fight, I figured the fight was going to be extremely close. I figured the grappling of Archuleta would really help him retain his Bellator title, but I knew Pettis had a real shot to take the belt.

In the end, all night long, Sergio Pettis was a step ahead of Juan Archuleta. Archuleta was more active, but Pettis was catching him with more clean shots. I personally thought the fight was closer than the scores suggested. However, after watching a second time, the right man won last weekend.

Sergio Pettis earned a clean sweep of the scorecards as he captured the Bellator bantamweight title. The judges had it 50-45, 49-46, 49-46 as the younger Pettis joined his brother as a world champion in the family.

What’s next after Bellator 258?

Bellator’s bantamweight division is one of their best divisions. There are a number of top contenders to watch. With that, here will be no shortage of options for Pettis’ first title defense.

One thing we know for sure, Juan Archuleta will not get an immediate rematch. Archuleta just became the champion and with the lopsided scores, we can pretty safely rule him out for Sergio’s first defense.

I think there are two Bellator bantamweights who are in the lead for the next shot. One being Raufeon Stots (16-1). Stots is an interesting one because him and Sergio are teammates. However, Pettis alluded to the fact that they might have to fight in the future.

Stots is 4-0 in Bellator and he’s knocking on the door of a title shot. The other contender is Magomed Magomedov (18-1). Magomedov is 2-0 since joining Bellator and his lone loss is to former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan.

Stots or Magomedov are the two leading candidates. Patchy Mix (14-1) and James Gallagher (11-1) are also options, but I think the promotion will try to pair those two for a fight against each other later this summer.