QUOTES AND VIDEO FROM TODAY’S BELLATOR MMA 258 VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE
LOS ANGELES – Today, the main and co-main event of Bellator MMA 258: Archuleta vs. Pettis joined a virtual conference call to discuss their upcoming bouts next Friday, May 7, airing live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
In the headliner, Juan Archuleta (25-2) makes the first defense of his BELLATOR Bantamweight world title against the clear-cut number one contender in the division, Sergio Pettis (20-5). In the co-main event, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (22-6) makes his promotional debut against a fellow debutant, Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (13-5), with both men hoping to advance toward a BELLATOR Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix semi-final matchup against division kingpin Vadim Nemkov.
Please see quotes below from today’s press conference participants, including BELLATOR President Scott Coker.
Scott Coker, BELLATOR President
“We have been trying to schedule MVP vs Derek Anderson for a while. I love both these kids’ style, and I am looking forward to seeing a great fight.
“People around here have been saying that the Pitbull brothers are crazy and that they might want to fight, but I don’t know. We will cross that bridge when we get there. In the meantime, Patricky has his hands full with Peter Queally. I think this fight is going to be really heated because of the back and forth between the gyms (Team Pitbull and SBG).
“Me and Fedor spoke about three days ago, and he plans to speak with his team and get back to me. We have a few good opponents in mind and hope to be able to announce something on the broadcast next Friday.
“I have a lot of respect for the Paul brothers, and they have built a nice business for themselves, but we are in the business of mixed martial arts. If you want to fight a grappler because you have the advantage, I get it. But you then must come back and fight our guy in MMA. Our fighters are not just boxers, they are mixed martial artists. To me if it’s an even playing field, we will participate. I think they can (compete in MMA), too. They have a great wrestling background, they are young and physical, and they have been training with some great boxers. But if we were to get involved, we would have to have an in-depth conversation on how it would work out.”
Juan “The Spaniard” Archuleta, BELLATOR Bantamweight World Champion
“They say the hardest thing to do is defend your throne. Although I agree, I have a different mindset than most. I am not holding this title when the fight starts, it is up for grabs. Sergio and I are going to be battling and putting on a show.
“What you will see in this fight is the future of MMA. Sergio and I are capable of so much and are the new hybrids of this sport. Sergio is so young and has been fighting the best in the world, and I have been on a tear while training with killers like TJ Dillashaw and Cub Swanson.
“I have taken my time and wanted to prepare myself to become a superstar. Even when I signed with Bellator, I wanted to do things right and build myself appropriately. Now that I have beaten the guys I have, I feel like it shows that I am a superstar, especially now that I am a champion.
“For me, fighting near Cinco De Mayo is paying homage to my relatives. You will see that in my performance, and I am ready to fight the best fight of my career.”
Sergio “SP” Pettis, BELLATOR Bantamweight Title Challenger
“I have fought some of the best in the world. I am ready, and like Juan said, that belt is up for grabs and I can’t wait to show to the Bellator fans how much better I have got over the years.
“When I was younger, I didn’t take the sport nearly as serious as I do now. I am in a great mental spot right now, and I am ready to show how much I’ve grown.
“This is absolutely the toughest fight of my career. Juan’s record speaks for itself, and he has fought the best guys in the world. But that is why I am in Bellator, I want to fight the best of the best. I am ready to be crowned champion and start carving my own legacy.”
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, BELLATOR Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Competitor
“I am super excited to make my return. I have been keeping my eye on Bellator for a while, and I am excited to be a part of it. In my opinion there is no better debut than fighting a monster like Yoel.
“I feel like something crazy is going to happen. When Yoel and I fight, someone usually gets hurt. Neither of us hold back, and you can tell we love the sport and competition by how we perform in the cage.
“There is definitely a buzz for this fight, and I can tell that because all my social media platforms are blowing up. I can’t tell who is more excited – me or the fans.
“Yoel is the most dangerous fighter I have ever faced.”
Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero, BELLATOR Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Competitor
“Thank you so much to Bellator for giving me this opportunity and allowing me to compete in this Grand Prix. There are so many great competitors in this tournament, and it is an honor to fight a guy like Rumble. In my opinion, Rumble is one of the best light heavyweights to ever compete in MMA and I can’t wait to step in the cage with him.
“I am not only excited for the tournament, but I am also excited about this fight. I am not in this tournament for the money, I’m in it to do what I love, and that’s compete with the best in the world. Growing up, it was never about money, it was about being the best in my town and the best in my country.”
BELLATOR MMA 258: Archuleta vs. Pettis Main Card:
9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Bantamweight Title Bout: c–Juan Archuleta(25-2)vs. #1–Sergio Pettis(20-5)
Light Heavyweight WGP Quarterfinal Bout: Anthony Johnson (22-6)vs. Yoel Romero(13-5)
Lightweight Bout: #2-Patricky Pitbull (23-9)vs. Peter Queally (12-5-1)
Welterweight Bout: #2-Michael Page (18-1)vs. #6-Derek Anderson (17-3-1)
BELLATOR MMA YouTube Channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel | Pluto TV
5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT
Bantamweight Bout: #7-Josh Hill (20-3) vs. #4-Raufeon Stots (15-1)
Featherweight Bout: Weber Almeida (5-0) vs. Johnny Soto (3-1)
Welterweight Bout: #5-Logan Storley (11-1) vs. Omar Hussein (8-2)
Middleweight Bout: #6-Johnny Eblen (7-0) vs. Daniel Madrid (18-6)
Bantamweight Bout: Henry Corrales (18-5) vs. Johnny Campbell (20-13, 1 NC)
Lightweight Bout: Alan Omer (24-5) vs. Bryce Logan (12-5)
Bantamweight Bout: Erik Perez (19-8) vs. Blaine Shutt (8-4)
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.