The top 5 Bellator fights of 2021
It has been a year of growth for Bellator MMA as they once again welcome fans and host international events again. The promotion also underwent changes in 2021. One of those changes was the switch to Showtime, which now serves as their US broadcast partner.
Bellator has concluded its featherweight Grand Prix, started its light-heavyweight Grand Prix and announced its plans for its highly anticipated bantamweight Grand Prix. There were many fights that exceeded expectations and had surprising results. The promotion has proven to be a solid alternative to the UFC.
The promotion has also seen many prospects take giant leaps in their development, which is promising as 2022 approaches. With their roster improving, Bellator has had many great fights over the year. This list will go over the top 5 Bellator fights in 2021.
# 5. Sergio Pettis vs. Kyoji Horiguchi – Bellator 272
Sergio Pettis v Kyoji Horiguchi was unique as it was a champion versus champion fight between bantamweight champions from two major promotions.
Pettis – bantamweight champion Bellator – defended his title against Horiguchi – bantamweight champion RIZIN – to determine who was the better champion. Horiguchi was looking to regain the Bellator bantamweight championship which he was forced to abandon due to injury. The fight was important for Pettis as a victory over Horiguchi would legitimize his title reign.
Horiguchi controlled the majority of the fight. He won every round and it looked like he was going to get closer to another championship. However, Pettis caught Horiguchi off guard when he followed up on an attempted header with a punch in the back that knocked Horiguchi out. Pettis put the exclamation mark on his title reign with one of the best knockouts of the year.