UFC on FOX 10's preliminary bouts concluded with a bantamweight contest featuring the undefeated Sergio Pettis against The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran Alex Caceres. The fight was a tightly-contested affair that almost ended up a decision, but with about 20 seconds left in the third frame, "Bruce Leeroy" sunk in a rear-naked choke, spelling the end of "The Phenom's" 10-fight winning streak (watch it here.)
Just the second fight for Pettis under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner, the 20-year-old fighter undoubtedly took home a wealth of knowledge in his first defeat. The Team Roufusport product also netted his inaugural "Fight of the Night" (FOTN) bonus in Chicago, adding a cool $50,000 to his bank account.
“He’s been wearing contacts into the cage. They get knocked out early in the fight, so what happens is he stands there squinting in front of his opponents. That’s what’s caused him to get hit so much in his last two fights. It’s easier for him to look at them if he stays still in front of his opponents instead of moving his feet.”
Imagine being inside the Octagon with less than perfect vision?
Current UFC lightweight champion and elder brother of Sergio, Anthony Pettis, has dealt with a similar situation. He has since had the corrective surgery and Roufus credits the procedure with helping "Showtime" greatly.
“It dramatically improved Anthony’s game. So that’s what Sergio’s going to do. He’s going to reinvest that bonus wisely and get that corrective surgery.”
By investing in himself for the long run, Sergio is alleviating any lingering hindrances that could lead to more losses down the line. Something that has hit the 135 pounder "very hard."
“He’s just got to get used to the big lights. He’s a 20-year-old kid, and there’s a lot of pressure on him, but I was proud of him. It was hard. He was heartbroken, but that’s the fight game. Combat sports are two-way traffic. If you’re ready to win, you better also be ready to bounce back from losses."
Expect "The Phenom's" road to redemption to begin sooner rather than later.