Bellator 258 Virtual Media Scrum Highlights
Bellator 258 is one of the biggest events Bellator has put on in a very long time. Bellator 258 will see Juan Archuleta defend his belt for the first time against Sergio Pettis. The event also sees the return of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson from retirement and Bellator legends such as Michael “Venom” Page, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, Rafael Carvalho, and Lorenz Larkin. On the prelims there are also a number of title eliminator fights, this is one you do not want to miss.
Archuleta is happy to headline a card so close to Cinco de Mayo and his hard work over the years is starting to pay off. Archuleta wants to be known as a warrior, who puts on a show regardless of whether he wins or loses. Archuleta is not going to force a finish and he is ready for 25 minutes, claiming his heart and durability will get him the win. The 135lbs division in Archuleta’s mind is so slacked, which is why it’s hard for champions in this division to defend their belt successfully. Visualization is very important to Archuleta and it has always helped him in preparation for his fights. Pettis’ style will not be unknown to Archuleta who feels his training partners namely Brian Ortega, Cub Swanson, and Tj Dillashaw have helped him prepare for all types of styles. Archuleta wants the Horiguchi fight with a win here against Pettis. Archuleta also feels a rematch with Pitbull at 135lbs is in his future.
Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson
Johnson is very disappointed that Romero was pulled from this card, but won’t chase that fight. The build-up and the excitement from fans surrounding the Romero fight is why he was looking forward to it so much. Johnson knew he, the promotion, and fans all wanted to see him fight, which is why he took the fight with Augusto. Johnson feels he is hard to take down and anyone who tries to take him down will have to pay for it. Johnson feels nothing has changed coming back into the game, when he was retired he was “fat and happy”. The journey of losing weight was enjoyable for Johnson and his body has benefited from the lifestyle changes. Johnson feels he has already made his mark in the UFC and ready to make his mark in Bellator. Johnson is only focused on Augusto right now and not thinking about the potential title shot with a win here. Johnson credits Henri Hooft as the most important person to him in MMA, he is the person who motivates him.
Michael Venom Page
Page wants a quick finish, as he “doesn’t get paid for overtime”. During Page’s last fight he was a little worried about the surface of the canvas, Page felt and the Bellator brass confirmed it was very slippery during his last bought, Page felt this heavily affected his performance. Page stated he is not happy with Bellator at the moment, over numerous issues but claims these issues can be easily fixed. As a Bellator fan himself, he believes in the promotion and feels a simple conversation can fix most of these issues. Page doesn’t listen to critics, as he feels they will never give him credit. Having been with Bellator for a number of years, Page feels he should have fought for the Bellator title by now but is confident he will in the near future. Page does not care about Lima and Amosov as he has been actively calling out Lima since their fight. Page feels his job is just to stay active. Regarding the upcoming title fight, Page predicts Lima will win as he feels Amosov is undersized against Lima. The shorter Amosov will have to stay in the pocket in order to win and he will eventually be compromised by Lima’s leg kicks. Page is not sure why Amosov has suddenly been placed above him in the rankings but he is not prepared to sit around and wait for the title shot.
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire
Although Patricky is coming off a loss, he feels nothing has changed, his confidence is still high, and is still “King of KOs”. Patricky has fought his brother Patricio hundreds of times but won’t fight him for the title. Patricky claims a win here would mean a title fight against Brett Primus, Patricio (the current 155lbs champion) will vacate the belt in order for this to happen. Patricky feels Queally is in this position cause he talks to a lot but he doesn’t mind as he has a sense of satisfaction when beating people from SBG Ireland.
Augusto was active when he received the call to fight Johnson. Augusto put his name forward when he heard Yoel Romero fell out and when the fight was offered, he took it with no hesitation. Augusto is very confident in his abilities to cause the upset, and although he is expecting the best version of Johnson, he feels youth, speed, and will to win will be the difference in this fight. Despite knowing he will be fighting for the title with a win here, he is 100% focused on Rumble Johnson. Augusto has learned to be more patient from observing Patricky and is happy to be on the same card as him. Augusto is grateful for the opportunity and ready to set his name in stone. Augusto says “One million dollars, I’m coming for you!”.
Pettis’ goal was always to be a champion. This is the biggest fight of his career and despite all the great fighters he has fought, he isn’t thinking about them anymore. Pettis claims he and Stots had a good camp and is blessed to have Stots in his camp. Pettis does not have game plans going into his fights, he just lets the fight play out and trusts his skills. Pettis feels he is much better at 135lbs, the cut to 125 made him feel fragile so this will be the best version of him. Pettis’ last 5 round main event was at elevation and that experience he feels will serve him well. The 10-year journey has been a journey of growth, although Pettis felt insecure about his skill set at first, he says he now trusts himself completely. Pettis is inspired by his brother Anthony, wants to do it for the Pettis legacy. Pettis feels his and Anthony’s bond is invaluable and credits his growth to lessons taught to him by Anthony. Sergio Pettis would like to be on the same fight card as Anthony before all is said and done.
The new opponent is a complete change in styles, but Larkin feels he has been in the game long enough and this is what he got into fighting for, to test himself. Larkin’s move to 185lbs isn’t permanent and he will be moving back to 170lbs after this fight. The long layoff and not having to worry about a weight cut is the reason he took this fight at 185lbs. Larkin doesn’t care what this fight does for him moving forward, just wants to clear the cobwebs. When asked about his thoughts on Douglas Lima and Page vs Anderson, he said he doesn’t think about this stuff. When Larkin is not in camp, he doesn’t talk or think about MMA so when he comes back he’ll miss it, that’s how he keeps himself motivated.
Queally says that John Kavanagh unlikely to corner him, but James Gallagher will be in his corner. Queally says this is the biggest fight of his career, a win will get him a title shot against Patricky’s brother. Queally is not happy with his exclusion from the rankings but feels the Bellator brass believe in him by giving him the #2 ranked 155lb fighter. This will be his first fight in the US, the first fight with no crowd and although it will be strange, Patricky will also have to face these unknowns. Despite being the underdog, Queally feels this will be a 50/50 brawl and know he has what it takes to win. To Queally, winning or losing isn’t the focus, the focus is to excite the fans, when he doesn’t focus on the outcome, that’s when he performs at his best.
Anderson feels a win will put him at #1 at 170lbs and in line for a title shot. Since the first time, he and Page were scheduled to fight he feels he is now more mature and confident. Anderson will be patient against Page and will take his opportunities when they are present themselves, predicting he will knockout Page. Although he is proven at 155lbs, feels he can no longer make the weight (unless he really tries) and will stick to fighting at 170 where he still has to prove himself. Anderson claims that Page has problems making weight, which is why the fight isn’t at 170.
Stots wore a T-shirt with his son’s pictures all over it, he will be fighting around his son’s birthday but said he will make it up to him. Thinks Sergio Pettis will win the title, and in training is the best he has ever looked, predicting that Pettis will dominate Archuleta. Says Sergio and him teach each other motivated and happy to have trained with him. Stots feels he will have the best claim for a title shot cause patchy and Gallagher not fighting but happy to “play bodyguard” for Pettis if and when he wins the title. Stots feels his volume and length are his biggest advantages over Hill. Stots predicts he will outwork Hill and will stop him inside of two rounds.
Patrick “patchy” Mix
Patchy was not too worried about the opponent change and is more focused on himself. Patchy didn’t look at much into Morales, but aware of who he was and feels he is a more difficult fight than Gallagher. Patchy still wants the Gallagher fight and wants to punish Gallagher for handpicking and wanting to fight him. Patchy is not convinced that Gallagher has a shoulder injury and doesn’t feel it was serious. After his first defeat, Patchy feels a few adjustments in the last 3 rounds would have got him the win. Patchy trained at Xtreme Couture with Eric Nicksick, Islam Makhachev, Jake Shields, Dan Ige, and Kevin Lee in preparation for this fight. Patchy believes that 145lbs is in his future, but before he moves up, Patchy wants to get the 135lbs belt first and defend it. Patchy says he has maybe 3-5 fights left in this weight class before he eventually moves up.
Hill feels he should get the title shot with a win here and will aim for a stoppage but will take a win however it comes. Hill predicts Archuleta will win via late stoppage or decision in the title fight main event. Hill agreed that he and Stots have similar skill sets, both good wrestling, striking and explosive. Hill impressed by Stots’ Bellator run so far (3-0) but feels he has the power and experience advantage as well as the better fight IQ. Despite once against being the underdog, Hill prefers it. Not happy with the way Canada is handling the pandemic and training and is affecting a lot of MMA fighters.