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NEW YORK – Undefeated bantamweight Patrick Mix had one goal he hoped to accomplish by signing with Bellator. He wanted to make a mark.
At Friday’s Bellator 222 at Madison Square Garden, it’s safe to say he did just that. In his promotional debut, Mix swiftly submitted Ricky Bandejas, a fighter highly touted in his own right.
“When I got offered I felt like Bellator was the best decision,” Mix said at the Bellator 222 post-fight news conference. “My manager Ali [Abdelaziz], he sent me a few different choices and I liked the Bellator route. I liked how the bantamweight division looked, and I liked how I can build. So when I was offered Ricky, I was very excited to really make my mark here.”
Just a few months ago, Mix (11-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) was regarded as the best American bantamweight prospect not signed to a major promotion. Now, after one Bellator MMA fight, he feels he’s proven to be above the term “prospect” – and he has a good argument.
“I’ve won 11 as an amateur, 11 as a pro, [for] 22 straight,” Mix said. “I’m not really a prospect anymore. I’m right in the Mix… and I deserved to be here a long time ago. I really made the most of my opportunity here.”
It’s common for fighters who compete in the same weight class and have the same goals and aspirations to feel bitter towards one another. But after Bellator 222, Mix and fellow bantamweight contender Juan Archuleta sat shoulder to shoulder displaying nothing but respect for one another.
In a bluntly honest statement, Mix said he liked the direction he’s headed but says he believes Archuleta (23-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) is next in line. Plus, he already has a certain brash Irishman he’d like to square off with in his next fight.
“No, I think [Archuleta’s] earned his title shot,” Mix said. “He’s had a lot of fights in Bellator. I’m still building and growing myself. I seen that right before I walked out [and] figured he got his title shot. Dantas got knocked out cold. I was looking at the next big name after I took out Ricky. I want to matchup with [James] Gallagher if he pulls through next weekend.”
James Gallagher competes this Saturday at Bellator Europe 3 against Jeremiah Labiano. Gallagher (8-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) and Labiano were originally set to square off in the main event of Bellator 187, before a knee injury forced Gallagher out of the bout.
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