When Mixed Martial Arts fans start discussing the topic of highly-touted prospects their focus is rarely directed at an amateur still waiting to step foot in a cage on a professional level, let alone an athlete who won’t celebrate his eighteenth birthday for a few more months.
However, Sergio Pettis is far from the sport’s standard blue-chipper, as he comes with the pedigree of an older brother on the cusp of contendership on the highest level possible and the support of one of MMA’s premiere training centers in the form of Milwaukee’s Roufusport Marial Arts Academy. Undefeated as an amateur, Pettis is now set to make his pro debut this September for the Canadian Fighting Championship against an opponent who has yet to be determined.
“It’s going to mean a lot,” Pettis said of his upcoming unveiling. “If I lose, it could determine my future in the sport. And if I do well, it could be a huge boost. So there’s a lot of pressure on me, but I’m going to have to pull through.”
However, the 17-year old won’t be alone when he draws a paycheck for his pugilistic abilities for the first time, as elder sibling and former WEC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis will be in his corner to keep his mind on the job at hand rather than worry about the pressure of performing.
“It means a lot that my brother and the team have helped me like they have. They’ve always been there for me,” Pettis said in reference to his team. “And Anthony always calms me down. I’ve gotten frustrated in some of my amateur bouts, and he’s done a great job at helping me keep my composure. It means a lot, and it helps me out a lot.
The praise flows both ways as Anthony elaborated on when asked about his little brother’s abilities and choice to take the next step in his career.
“It’s awesome,” Pettis said. “I set out in this sport to do that, to help pave the way for him. I think he’s going to have a very successful pro debut. And he’s going to make a big impact in this sport. The sport can be lucrative, and he’s going to take advantage of that. Sergio has a very, very bright future.”
“Whether it’s me, Erik Koch, or Danny Downes, Sergio is holding his own against all of us in training,” Anthony continued. “He’s going to be a monster, and he’s going to do huge things in MMA.”
Pettis is 4-0 as an amateur fighter including three wins by way of a finishing performance.