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Ricky Bandejas is facing Patrick Mix at Bellator 222 in Madison Square Garden. They're one of six fights on the main card and Bandejas is excited to fight in the famous venue. He hopes to get back in the win column after picking up a loss in his last fight.
If you ask Bandejas if there's any pressure in facing an undefeated fighter, he will tell you "no." In fact, he said he has taken three or four "zeros" from fighter's records. So, facing Mix is nothing new to the New Jersey-based fighter.
Fighting so close to home only fuels his desire to win. Bandejas expects about 300 fans of his from the "Garden State" to come into Madison Square Garden to support him in his match against Mix, who is from Buffalo, New York.
Fighting out of Nick Catone's MMA, Bandejas thinks he brings a well-rounded game into the fight He feels wrestling is his best strength and he featured some good scrambles in his fight against Juan Archuleta but does not mind if he is mistaken for a striker as he feels the less his opponents know, the better it is for him.
It may not be a coincidence that both he and Archuleta are on the same card as their performances at Bellator 222 could likely have them face each other again. One fighter who was handed their first loss against Bandejas was James Gallagher. Gallagher has expressed interest in a rematch, but he has his fight at Bellator's event in London to worry about. However, with all these featherweights keeping so busy, fans should not be surprised if they are considered for the pending tournament that is said to come in the fall.
Edward Carbajal serves as the lead MMA analyst for Frontproof Media and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in Ishin Ryu karate. He has covered combat sports since 2014 and has been a fan of MMA since the first UFC. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com.