UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Canadian bantamweight (Gentleman) Josh Hill stopped Jared (Psycho) Scoggins with a one-punch knockout in the second round Friday at Bellator 272.

The 35-year-old mixed martial artist from Fonthill, Ont., caught Scoggins with a right hand to the chin as the American came forward to attack. Scoggins' legs buckled and he fell backwards. Hill moved in to deliver a left-handed blow but pulled back when he saw a defenceless Scoggins on the canvas.

"I saw him go down and knew he was out. There was no point to keep going," said Hill.

The fight was stopped 56 seconds into the second round.

In the co-main event at Mohegan Sun Arena, Canadian featherweight Jeremy (JBC) Kennedy (17-3-0 with one no contest) won a unanimous 30-27 decision over Emmanuel (El Matador) Sanchez (20-7-0).

Kennedy, ranked ninth among Bellator 145-pounders compared to No. 4 for Sanchez, dedicated the win to a late friend.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself," said Kennedy. "I had a close friend pass away. He was in my corner for my last few fights. I didn’t want to go home with a loss. I didn’t want to take any extra chance. I wanted to win every single exchange. I wanted to win every second, every moment of this fight. I didn’t care what that looked like."

A native of Surrey, B.C., who trains out of Las Vegas, the 29-year-old Kennedy was coming off a decision loss to Adam (The Kid) Borics at Bellator 256 in April.

In Friday's main event, Sergio (The Phenom) Pettis won his first bantamweight title defence with a spinning backfist KO of former champion Kyoji Horiguchi (29-4-0). Pettis (22-5-0) won the 135-pound title at Bellator 258, dethroning Juan (The Spaniard) Archuleta.

Hill was coming off a decision loss to Raufeon (Supa) Stots at Bellator 258 on May 7. Hill, who had won his four previous fights, broke the radial head of his right arm _ where the forearm meets the elbow _ when he blocked a kick in the first round. But he managed to finish the fight.

While ranked seventh in the Bellator 135-pound ranking, Hill was not included in the promotion's eight-man Bantamweight World Grand Prix. But he was named an alternate after Friday's KO, meaning he could take part if someone drops out.

Hill, who is a co-owner of Vision Quest MMA & Fitness in Hamilton, spent the last half of his recent training camp in Sacramento at Team Alpha Male. He hadn't planned to spend that much time away from his wife and two kids, but opted to leave early for the U.S. in case more border restrictions took effect in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scoggins (10-2-0) saw his five-fight win streak snapped in his Bellator debut. Rubbing salt in the wound, he lost 30 per cent of his purse after failing to make the 136-pound bantamweight non-title weight limit. He weighed in at 140 pounds.

Hill, who put his goal of becoming a firefighter on hold to pursue MMA, is a graduate of Season 18 of ``The Ultimate Fighter' in 2013. While that did not lead to a shot at the UFC, he won nine of his next 12 fights to earn a contract with Bellator where he is 3-1-0.

Hill took his nickname from his late great-uncle, who wrestled under the name of (Gentleman) Jerry Valiant and was one-half of the Valiant Brothers with (Luscious) Johnny Valiant.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2021