MMA's next 'Phenom'
If you look in the dictionary under the letter "P" you wouldn’t find the name of mixed martial artist Sergio Pettis. But what you would find is his nickname, "Phenom."
A phenom is often a young prodigy -- a person or thing of outstanding abilities.
This best describes this 17-year-old MMA fighter from the Southside of Milwaukee. Many fans also know him as the younger brother of former WEC lightweight champion and current UFC fighter Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.
Even though he’s only 17, Sergio Pettis is no stranger to competing and fighting in the ring.
“When I was 13 and 14 years old, I mostly fought kickboxing fights, and when I was 15, I had my first amateur MMA fight. I won with a head kick knockout and in my second fight I won by guillotine submission,” Pettis said.
Pettis is scheduled to make his professional debut Sept. 10, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada under the Canadian Fighting Championship banner. He just returned from Sacramento, Calif., training with Team Alpha Male.
Pettis was asked to come and help prepare former WEC Featherweight Champion and current top UFC bantamweight contender Urijah Faber for a title match at UFC 132 against UFC champion Dominick Cruz.
“They brought me out there to work with Faber, because I do a great Dominick Cruz impersonation,” Pettis said. “It was awesome training, being able to train with the top level of my division where I’m going to fight at 135 (pounds). It was just a great experience. You see how hard they train and what they put into it.”
Even though Sergio is still considered an amateur, he is no stranger to sparring with pro fighters.
“Me and my brother, we go at it hard, we destroy each other. I haven’t gotten hit so many times in the head in a while,” Sergio said. “[Wednesday] night we stepped it up and we went at it. It was awesome. Sparring with Anthony, we push each other and we’re brothers so we are comfortable at doing that. We hit each other as hard as we can, we laugh about it and we enjoy what we do.”
Anthony and Sergio are the youngest of three boys, and Anthony sees a bright future for his younger brother.
“He’s my main training partner, and he’s only 17 years old," Anthony said. "Whether it’s me, Erik Koch or Danny Downes, Sergio is holding his own against all of us in training. He’s going to be a monster, and he’s going to do huge things in MMA.”
Very few amateur MMA fighters get to spar and hold their own against former world champions. And even fewer amateur MMA fighters can be called The Phenom.
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