UFC bantamweight Sergio Pettis has had a long winter. The Milwaukee fighter not only went through one of the coldest and lengthy Midwestern winters in some time, but he kicked it off with a disappointing loss in January near home, in Chicago.
The 20 year-old prodigy controlled most of his UFC on Fox 10 bout against Alex Caceres January 25 before getting caught in submission and tapping out with just twenty one seconds left in the bout. As he heads into the sun and heat of Albuquerque, NM to fight Yaotzin Meza at tonight's UFC Fight Night, Pettis spoke about the challenges and opportunities of his long winter as well as what he learned in his last bout.
“The winter was long and we are just now barely getting over it,” Pettis told UFC.com.
“There is nothing to do in Milwaukee during the winter so I stayed in the gym the entire time. I got past my eye surgery, which was a very good success. I can see now and I cannot wait to get to Albuquerque and put my hands on Yaotzin Meza. I want to make a statement in this fight."
Getting back on his grind in the gym at Roufusport under the direction of head coach Duke Roufus was the right medicine for the younger brother of UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Losses, when dealt with appropriately, are learning moments.
“That fight taught me a lot,” Pettis said.
“No one likes to lose, but as Duke always says, ‘Losing is like your medicine. Don’t be bitter, get better.’ I learned a lot in that fight. It was my first time in deep waters and I froze up and made a mistake. Caceres capitalized on it and that made me learn that I need to be more cautious. My fight IQ is much better and I’m ready to show my improvements in this next fight.”
The younger Pettis believes that he's coming into his own as a man and not just as a fighter, of late. At 1-1 in the UFC, overall, "The Phenom" understands the importance of winning this next fight and he won't let another opportunity slip through his grasp.
“I’m not a little boy anymore," he said.
"My body is starting to look like a man and I’m starting to act and think like a man as well. This is my career and I’m fully invested in it in every way. My career is on the line in this fight and so is his. We are both coming off losses and we are going to see who wants it more.”