Fight Facts: Bellator 272 ‘Pettis vs. Horiguchi’

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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Bellator MMA defied expectations with its final show of the year, putting forth a main event that blew everyone away with an instant contender for “Knockout of the Year.” A slow preliminary card was largely redeemed with explosive main card action, and it all culminated with one big bang. Bellator 272 featured only the second spinning back fist knockout in a Bellator title fight, a grudge match paid in full with a blistering right hand and a Russian destroyer that can’t seem to get out of second gear on the big stage.

Phenomenal from the "Phenom": Staging a massive comeback down on the scorecards in Round 4, Sergio Pettis destroyed Kyoji Horiguchi with a spinning back fist. “The Phenom” earned the latest knockout from a spinning strike in Bellator history, as the first to perform one after the third frame.

Not the First, But the Cleanest: Pettis’ spinning back fist knockout is the second in Bellator championship history. The first came from 205-pound king Emanuel Newton over Joey Beltran at Bellator 124 in 2014.

Little Guy, Big Spin: Weighing in at 134 pounds, Pettis is the lightest fighter in company history to record a knockout with a spinning strike. Ray Wood held that record beforehand, coming in at 145.4 pounds before knocking the heavy Chris Jones out at Bellator 151 in 2016.

The Comeback of Comebacks: At 3:24 of the fourth round, Pettis earned the 10th latest finish in company history. It is the latest in the history of Bellator’s 135-pound division as well.

That’s What That Feels Like: Pettis recorded his first knockout since he put Dillard Pegg away in 51 seconds at RFA 8 in 2013, a span of 18 fights between his stoppage wins due to strikes. That gap encompasses his entire tenure with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and beyond.

No Feeble Flyweight: Throughout the litany of champions across Bellator’s 135-pound category, Pettis finds himself as just the third fighter to successfully defend his strap. Of note, Eduardo Dantas achieved this on both of his title reigns, while Darrion Caldwell is the only other to reach this feat.

Round Bantam: Accepting the fight even though Jared Scoggins missed weight by four pounds, Josh Hill made his heavier foe pay by knocking him out cold in the second round. Hill punched his ticket into the 2022 bantamweight grand prix as an alternate with his knockout.

Johnny Jump Up: Johnny Eblen laid waste to Collin Huckbody in 71 seconds to improve his pro record to 10-0. Six of his 10 wins have come by stoppage within 2:21 of the opening round.

A Case of Mismanaged Expectations: Alexandr Shabliy coasted to pick up a decision over Bobby King, earning his fourth victory in a row on the scorecards. Before this stretch, every one of the Russian’s wins had come inside the distance.

Welcome Back to Bellator: Winning in his return to Bellator, Kai Kamaka III prevailed by decision against John de Jesus. Eight of Kamaka’s nine career wins have come by judges’ decision, while 10 of 11 of his last encounters have gone 15 full minutes.

True Learning Experience: After 15 minutes of combat, Justin Montalvo earned a unanimous nod from the scorers to earn the fourth win of his career in four tries. “Kid Marvelous” had never fought beyond the second round as a pro before this fight.

Super Alpha Ginger Things: Pulling off a spectacular comeback to put Dan Moret to sleep with a rear-naked choke in the third round, Spike Carlyle earned his first finish after Round 2 in his career. “The Crucifixion” has recorded stoppages in 12 of his 13 career wins, including each of his last seven triumphs.

No More for Moret: Although Dan Moret holds over of half of his wins, he came into Bellator 272 never having been submitted. “The Hitman” did not tap out to Carlyle’s rear-naked choke, and was rendered unconscious as a result.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into Bellator 272, Scoggins had never been finished (11 fights), Huckbody had never been knocked out (13 fights) and Levan Chokheli had never won by decision (11 fights).



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