UFC fighter Sergio Pettis plans to make comeback after KO loss: “I had to get myself back together”
MILWAUKEE — It has been about seven months since Sergio Pettis’ last UFC fight. He lost that bout by a knockout, but he hasn’t lost his drive. When you’re a professional fighter, you have to know how to take a hit — and how to get back up when you fall.
In March, Pettis was the clear favorite to beat Ryan Benoit during the UFC 185 event in Dallas, Texas. They went blow for blow, with Sergio controlling the first round.
But about a minute-and-a-half into the second round, Benoit landed one good hook and that was it for Pettis.
Benoit won by TKO (technical knockout).
“Just one exchange, threw the wrong combo and got caught,” said Pettis.
It was the first time Pettis was knocked out of a professional fight and only his second loss as a pro.
“I honestly get depressed from it. I stayed out of the gym for a little bit. I had to get myself back together,” said Pettis.
Pettis needed the break, more mentally than physically, and his road back from defeat came with some valuable lessons.
“I learned a lot from it. For experiences, sometimes you have bad experiences — not only in the fight but in life and there’s two ways you can go. You can take a negative route or you can take a positive route. I took the positive route. I learned a lot from that since then and I think I became a better fighter and just more contact with myself, more understanding of the sport and more understanding of me as an athlete,” said Pettis.
With that new understanding, Pettis is not only back in the gym — he’s back on a card and back in Texas. When he hits the mat on Saturday night, October 3rd, he won’t be thinking about the knockout but won’t forget it either.
“I feel more aware of that now and it’s possible anybody can get hit and get hit unconscious, so I learned from that. Now I’m just trying to get better and better for the next fight,” said Pettis.
The fight is against Chris Cariaso, a 34-year-old UFC veteran. When Cariaso fought his first UFC fight back in 2011, Sergio was still in high school.
“He’s more experienced than me. He has a lot more time in the cage and more in the octagon — so obviously that’s going to play a big part in that. But also I’ve been fighting for awhile as well. I started when I was 15. I’ve been fighting since then and you know, I feel pretty experienced and I think I’m more explosive than this guy,” said Pettis.
Both Pettis and Cariaso are looking to rebound from losses when they meet in the octagon. Cariaso is a top ten fighter, but Pettis is the early favorite.
“Besides youth, I think I’m a lot quicker than this guy. I think my stand up is a lot better than his as well. He’s more of a traditional Muay Thai fighter. I’m a mixed martial artist. I like to switch stances, throw flashy kicks, get the crowd involved and just be a more interesting fighter than this guy,” said Pettis.
All of the training and the metal growth Pettis endured over the last seven months will be on display this weekend as Pettis proves the old boxing adage: It’s not about how hard you get hit, but how you get back up.
“The last fight had a bad outcome, but I’m going back to Texas to change that,” said Pettis.
Sergio fights Saturday, October 3rd in Houston, Texas. Fellow Roufusport fighter Tyron Woodley is also fighting that night.