Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis will finally make his return to the cage to make his first title defense against Kyoji Horiguchi on Dec. 3 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

Bellator has yet to officially name the event numerically. ESPN’s Marc Raimondi was among the first to report the Pettis vs. Horiguchi booking.

Remarkably, Horiguchi will still be on Rizin’s roster to defend his bantamweight title next year. Rizin and Bellator have a long-standing relationship when it comes to crossover fighters between the promotions.

Pettis earned the belt after out-pointing Juan Archuleta at Bellator 258 earlier this year. He has won four fights in a row, including three in Bellator after a long tenure in the UFC alongside his brother, former UFC champion Anthony Pettis.

The other fights on the card have yet to be named. It’s also unclear if the Pettis vs. Horiguchi bantamweight showdown will be the only title fight on the card, although Bellator hasn’t had many events with multiple title fights.

Sergio Pettis will make his first Bellator bantamweight title defense since earning the belt against Juan Archuleta

Horiguchi will look to begin his second stint in Bellator with style, after a one-off against Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 222. He would go on to return to Rizin to split fights with Kai Asakura.

The Pettis vs. Horiguchi bantamweight title bout could be the last of its kind for a while, as Bellator headman Scott Coker has hinted at a Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix for some time next year. Nothing has materialized or been announced yet, but that could change soon.

Pettis, Horiguchi, and others set up what is a fascinating Bellator bantamweight division, which arguably stands toe-to-toe with the UFC’s talented bantamweight roster.

What is your early prediction for Sergio Pettis vs. Kyoji Horiguchi?

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Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.