At Bellator 222, Patrick Mix makes his promotional debut, taking on Ricky Bandejas in a pivotal Bantamweight clash.
The undefeated prospect wasn't without choices though, weighing up his potential options before eventually opting to sign with Bellator. Mix explained that process to James Lynch in an interview with Fightful. “It happened fast. After my last fight, I won in the first round again, extended my streak . . . I’ve finished five guys in a row. So I got to 10-0 and Ali’s (Abdelaziz) been telling me he’ll get me to the next level so he offered me a few options and Bellator was the clear-cut option for me to take right now."
One part of that was Mix's slight apprehension towards his UFC openings, especially as Bantamweight becomes overloaded with shifting Flyweights. “The thing with the UFC was it’s just real backed up with the (1)25ers going up to (1)35," he said. "I wasn’t really trying to go through the contender series. I feel I really proved myself already on the regional scene. I didn’t want to fight a regional contender series fight and you don’t chance anything.
"I really wanted to get to the next level so I looked at the options of contender series, Bellator or even possibly PFL. Even moving up but I thought (1)35’s real stacked in Bellator right now. The division’s really growing so I thought I’d really strive well there."
While Mix's comments are hard to dispute, there's also a financial advantage too, with 'Patchy' discussing his sponsorship opportunities. “Financially it’s a great decision as well because I had a lot of sponsors with me throughout my career thus far. I can still maintain them as well as marketing myself on a bigger stage to now get more sponsors.”
Regardless of why, Mix is now officially in Bellator and just days away from his promotional debut. Fighting a top contender upon arrival, Mix may be just a single fight or two away from title contention. Before that though, Mix needs to win this Friday night at Madison Square Garden, fighting on the main card of an event featuring box-office attractions such Rory MacDonald, Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida. The full main card can be found below:
Main Card (DAZN - 10 pm ET)
Bellator Welterweight Championship
Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix Semi-Finals
Rory MacDonald (20-5-1) (c) vs. Neiman Gracie (9-0)
Chael Sonnen (30-16-1) vs. Lyoto Machida (25-8)
Dillon Danis (1-0) vs. Max Humphrey (3-2)
Eduard Dantas (21-6) vs. Juan Archuleta (22-1)
Ricky Bandejas (11-2) vs. Patrick Mix (10-0)
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Championship
Darrion Caldwell (13-2) (c) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (27-2)