Sergio Pettis arrived in Las Vegas Tuesday in advance of his UFC 167 fight right as scheduled but was still surprised at how soon he had gotten to that point. At just twenty years of age, Pettis will make his UFC debut as one of the youngest to ever fight in the organization.
"I was surprised that I got the call this quick," he admitted to Cagewriter shortly after arriving in Vegas.
Pettis is the younger brother of new UFC lightweight champion Anthony "Showtime" Pettis but has blazed an impressive amateur and professional path of his own. The younger Pettis is an undefeated 9-0 with six of those wins coming by either submission or knockout.
"The Phenom" last fought and won quite recently, on September 28th, but didn't hesitate to sign on the dotted line with the UFC when they came calling. Saturday Pettis will fight fellow flyweight Will Campuzano on the UFC 167 under card.
Though the fighter out of Milwaukee didn't expect to reach the big leagues so fast, he is confident that he belongs there. "I'm definitely ready," he said.
"I had been going through the regional fights pretty easily so I know that this is where I belong."
Sergio says that he began getting serious about his MMA training and believing that he could make a career out of it when he was around 14 years of age. "Before that, I thought I'd just do the regular thing, go to college, get a regular job," he remembered.
Then, MMA began to grow and the young fighter saw the sport as a viable career path. His own brother's successes only encouraged him.
"The Phenom" has learned from his brother's experiences, and appreciates the guidance. "We've definitely talked about what it is like and what it takes to do well in the UFC," Sergio said of he and brother Anthony.
"He's told me that I need to make the most out of it all and not take anything for granted."
If having an older brother with UFC and title experience can help Sergio get perspective and wisdom, one has to imagine that it also adds pressure to the shoulders of the younger sibling as he makes his UFC debut. On Sergio's official UFC profile page, his fighter summary portion reads, "Anthony Pettis' little brother."
The world may expect Sergio - who even strongly resembles Anthony - to be as good as his brother right away and become the new "Showtime."
"There is probably more pressure now for me as I start in the UFC with Anthony being the champion and everything," Sergio admitted in closing.
"People expect me to come out and do everything that he can do. But it's a good thing. That pressure makes me push myself even more to do everything I can to be my best."
Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda
- Martial Arts
- Sports & Recreation
- Anthony Pettis