Despite RFA 8 Win, Sergio Pettis Not Yet Ready For UFC

sergio-pettis On Friday night in Milwaukee, WI, in the main event of RFA 8, Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis — the younger brother of UFC superstar Anthony Pettis — made his flyweight debut and it was an impressive one as he knocked out Dillard Pegg with a beautiful 1-2 combo in the first round of their title fight to win the inaugural RFA flyweight championship. The win improves Pettis’ overall pro MMA record to 8-0, including three wins by way of submission and two by way of TKO, and it’s led to many observers of the sport calling for Pettis to be called up to the UFC. But I disagree. Despite how good he’s looked through his first eight pro fights, and especially against Pegg, I don’t believe that Pettis is ready yet for the UFC. That’s not say that he couldn’t win any fights in the UFC. After all, the flyweight division is extremely shallow and I do believe that Pettis could take out the likes of Phil Harris, Azamat Gashimov, and Iliarde Santos, guys who honestly shouldn’t even be on the UFC’s roster. But Pettis is only 19 years old, so what’s the rush? We’ve seen time and time again youngsters with tons of hype and potential come into the UFC with great fanfare only once they get there prove that they were rushed to the top of the sport’s food chain too soon. I can’t think of a better example of this than Dan Lauzon, who is the younger brother of UFC lightweight star Joe Lauzon. Dan started his pro career as an 18-year-old with four-straight submission wins and the UFC decided he was ready for the big show. At only 18, Dan took on UFC veteran Spencer Fisher at UFC 64, and he was TKOed in brutal fashion in less than five minutes proving that he was rushed to the big show. He was then cut by the UFC, and went back to the regional circuit where he lost to someone he should have beat in his very next outing, a loss which showed just how devastating the loss to Fisher was to his young psyche. Dan eventually made his way back to the UFC, but he wasn’t successful and was released yet again despite having all the talent in the world. In my opinion, it was that loss to Fisher that really set him back — for Dan, it wasn’t an experience builder, but instead a confidence buster. Dan Lauzon is just one example of a prospect being hyped up then coming into the UFC at too young an age, losing, and never being the same again, but he’s of course not the only example. And I don’t want Pettis to join that list with Lauzon and the others, which is why I’d like for him to get one or two more fights in RFA before being called up the big show. If I was the UFC and RFA, I’d let Pettis defend his title at least once in RFA against a big-show veteran, and if he’s successful in that bout then he’ll be ready for the UFC. But not right now. Not yet, and especially not because he knocked out some nobody named Dillard Pegg. Or else his career might be over before it’s even begun, and that would be an absolute shame.

Written by Adam Martin.

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