They say staying at the top can be more difficult than getting there. Time will tell whether or not the axiom holds true for Juan Archuleta.
“The Spaniard” will defend his Bellator MMA bantamweight championship for the first time when he meets Roufusport mainstay Sergio Pettis in the Bellator 258 main event on Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Archuleta has rattled off 20 wins across his past 21 outings. He last appeared at Bellator 246 in September, when he laid claim to the vacant bantamweight title in a five-round unanimous decision over Patrick Mix. Pettis, meanwhile, enters the cage with the wind of a three-fight winning streak in his sails. He last competed at Bellator 242, where he took a unanimous decision from Ricky Bandejas on July 24.
As Archuleta and Pettis make their final preparations, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
33: Years of age for Juan Archuleta, who was born on Sept. 13, 1987 in Sultana, California—a small city of less than 800 people located roughly 200 miles southeast of San Francisco.
11: Archuleta wins by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for 44% of his career total (25). His list of victims includes Eduardo Dantas, Robbie Peralta and Chris Tickle. Archuleta owns one other win by submission and 13 more by decision.
7: Bantamweight champions, including Archuleta, in Bellator history. Dantas, Zach Makovsky, Joe Warren, Marcos Galvao, Darrion Caldwell and Kyoji Horiguchi are the others. Archuleta has spent 237 days on the 135-pound throne.
2: Sub-minute stoppage victories on the Archuleta resume. He cut down Casey Doyle with punches 46 seconds into their Gladiator Challenge “Payback” encounter on Aug. 30, 2014 and dispatched Brandon Hastings with punches 24 seconds into their King of the Cage “Supernova” pairing on March 18, 2017.
9: Promotions in which Archuleta has competed as a professional mixed martial artist. They are BAMMA USA, Gladiator Challenge, World Series of Fighting, Lights Out Promotions, California Fight League, Tru-Form Entertainment, Smash Global, King of the Cage and Bellator. Twenty of Archuleta’s 27 career bouts have taken place in his native California.
27: Years of age for Pettis, who was born in Milwaukee on Aug. 18, 1993. “The Fugitive” was the No. 1 movie at the domestic box office and UB40’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” was the No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100 list at the time.
4: Pettis victories by submission, accounting for 20% of his career total (20). His methods of choice: two guillotine chokes, one arm-triangle choke and one kimura. Pettis owns three other victories by knockout or technical knockout and 13 more by decision.
51: Seconds needed for Pettis to punch out Dillard Pegg in the Resurrection Fighting Alliance 8 main event on June 21, 2013. Having occurred nearly eight years ago, it remains his fastest finish to date.
72: Significant strikes by which Pettis outlanded Chris Cariaso, Chris Kelades, John Moraga and Brandon Moreno during a four-fight winning streak in the Ultimate Fighting Championship between Oct. 3, 2015 and Aug. 5, 2017. “The Phenom” won all four by unanimous decision, connecting with 222 such strikes while absorbing 150 of them in return.
85: Combined wins between the five men—Rob Font, Jussier Formiga, Henry Cejudo, Ryan Benoit and Alex Caceres—who have defeated Pettis. They sport a cumulative winning percentage of .720.
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