When it came to “Patchy” Mix receiving his shot at the Bellator bantamweight title, it didn’t matter much to him about the opponent.
The highly touted prospect, who calls the Jackson-Winkeljohn Academy his training home, has been calling for an opportunity to compete for gold ever since he first arrived in the promotion. With an unblemished 13-0 record including a pair of wins in Bellator along with a victory on the co-promoted show with RIZIN this past December, Mix made a rapid rise up the ranks.
He targeted 2020 as the year he would finally become champion and once former title holder Kyoji Horiguchi vacated the belt due to injury, Mix knew it was only a matter of time before he got his wish.
At Bellator 246, Mix will have his opportunity to become champion while taking on former featherweight title challenger Juan Archuleta, who is fighting at 135 pounds for only the second time in the promotion.
“It doesn’t really matter what I believe to be honest with you,” Mix told MMA Fighting about Archuleta being selected as his opponent to crown a new Bellator champion. “It could be Sergio [Pettis] and all these guys are in the long list but it just so happens to be him. He’s got a good record, 24-2, and I’m going to make that 24-3 on Sept. 12.”
According to Mix, he’s kept an eye on Archuleta after they were both previously competing for the same promotion but never actually clashed.
While he’s not going to insult Archuleta’s skills, the undefeated 27-year-old hasn’t exactly been impressed by what he’s seen out of his upcoming opponent either.
“I don’t think much of him,” Mix said. “I think I’ve fought just as high of competition as him and I just think I’m better.”
“He’s good at everything, he’s not great at anything. When he starts losing, he relies back on his wrestling. He’s been able to bail out of a lot of bad positions because he’s been able to out wrestle guys. This is a new game. I’m a young fighter. I’m the next generation fighter. He’s going to have to do a lot more against me. I’m coming to butcher him.”
If there’s a stark contrast between the two bantamweight title contenders, it comes down to finishing rate.
Mix has only gone to decision three times during his entire career with nine submissions and one knockout on his resume. Meanwhile, Archuleta has a much bigger professional record but he’s earned decision wins 12 times out of 24 wins.
No matter what kind of approach Archuleta has in mind this weekend, Mix promises that he’s going for the kill from the opening seconds of the first round until the referee pulls him off to stop the fight.
“I’m coming out there to finish him,” Mix said. “He’s got 25 minutes to survive against me. He’s going to be running around. I’m coming out there to hunt him down, stalk him and finish him. I’m coming right out the gates to come after him. I’m going to hunt this guy down.
“In a perfect fight, the way I’d want the fight to end in true ‘Patchy’ Mix style. If I catch his neck, put him to sleep. That would be a perfect way to get out of there for a world title.”