UFC's Sergio Pettis admits he rushed move up to 135 pounds out of fear of losing his job

MEXICO CITY – Sergio Pettis was faced with a decision once rumors of the flyweight division dissolving emerged. The former bantamweight didn’t want to take any risks, so he moved back up to 135 pounds, a decision he admits was rushed.

“Honestly I didn’t want to go up to 35,” Pettis told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “I went up to 35 because I was like I’m not losing my job. I heard the day before I fought Jussier Formiga about the whole thing that was going on, so it was kind of like, ‘Dang, man, all this hard work I put in, I’m No. 2, I beat the guy (Joseph Benavidez) who’s currently No. 1 in the division, all taken away from me.’

“All the hard work I put in, but I should have stayed on the path. I kind of overreacted right away, and they brought it back. (Henry) Cejudo brought this division back honestly, so thank God for that. ‘Triple C’ out here.”

With Cejudo defeating T.J. Dillashaw to defend his flyweight title back in January, suddenly there was new life for the division. Pettis decided to make the move back down to 125 pounds, which was actually an easy transition for him.

“My body is meant for 125,” Pettis said. “I tried to go up to 35 two months after a 25 cut, didn’t put on any weight, didn’t put on any size, fought a tough Rob Font, and got exposed. He jabbed me up. I think it also showed me a lot too, that I’m not made out of glass. He could have knocked me out. He could have destroyed me, which he has done to other bantamweights, but I went out there and competed. He beat me in the rounds, but it showed me that I’m tough. Go out there and believe in myself and do what I know I’m capable of doing.”

Pettis (17-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, but he realizes that he needed those defeats to reignite the fire.

“I think I put a lot of pressure on myself,” Pettis said. “I guess I’m my own worst critic, so those last two fights, it definitely sucked to get those two losses. But nine months later I feel like it was something that was necessary. It made me realize my love for the sport, my passion. It was scary. For nine months, I was just down, down and out, and I think you got to go through times like that to find the light again, and I think I’m back, man. I feel good, and Saturday I get to show my skills.”

After losing his initial opponent, Alex Perez, about a month out, Pettis now takes on newcomer Tyson Nam on Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 17, but the change in opponent doesn’t faze him.

“I know that in this sport, things change easily,” Pettis said. “Unfortunately, Alex Perez had a tough injury, and Tyson Nam, thank God I got a replacement right away, four weeks out so it’s enough for him to prep, and enough time for me to prep, as well. So nothing’s different. I got to go out there and fight. I’m going to fight them all eventually. If I continue to stay here, I’m going to fight everyone in this division.

“He’s a good fighter. He’s fought some tough competition over in Russia and overseas, so nothing against him, but this is the UFC. So I’m excited to show him what it is here.”

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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