It looks like next year we'll probably see Sergio Pettis fighting at 125 lbs. The current bantamweight and younger brother to Anthony Pettis spoke to the media after UFC 181 and from the sound of things, he's already preparing for a drop to flyweight. For starters, Pettis expressed that his weight cut has gotten easier and easier, to the point that he was on weight two days out from weigh ins for his fight with Matt Hobar. He's been cleaning up his diet, getting a better nutritionist, and sounds confident that he could make 125.
You know, I made some goals for next year. Next year I'm going to go down to flyweight. I'm going to do a pre-cut, take a little time to see if I can actually make the weight, make sure it's comfortable for me. I get down really low body fat percentage. I look good, but, you know, it's tough. I don't feel so good there. So, working with Nutrition for Life is making my weight cut a lot easier, and this 135 cut was nothing. I literally was on weight Wednesday, so I think 25 is definitely an option for me.
Of course, with better weight management, comes fewer food options. Pettis also talked about his love of Oreos and how he's coping without them:
Man, I wish I could. Duke got on me about the Oreos. It was like, a couple months ago he said, "What are you... You're eating Oreos? You know, you're a fighter, you're a future champ. You can't eat that." But I still love 'em.
Oh, I'm going to be eating plenty of Wheaties, man. Wheaties and chocolate milk, that's the best.
Interestingly, however, Pettis said that his planned move to 125 isn't so much motivated by a strength as it is by reach:
Right now, I'm David fighting these Goliaths, man. These 35ers are getting huge. Caceres, I fought him, he was like 6 foot. I'm 5' 6", you know? I don't think I'm gonna grow "this way" any more, but I'll get wider for sure. You already know.
It's not the strength advantage. I feel like I match the strength with the 135 division, just as much as the 25 division. It's just my height. I'm really short, got smaller reach than these guys. And hope... I think at 25 I could, you know, make it just as easy as I made 35. I was on 35, like I said, Wednesday. I was on weight, didn't have to cut weight for this fight. Woke up, got on that scale. So, I think 25 would be an option for me. You know, I'm getting more mature in the sport and understanding weight cutting, and understanding that, in the cage, the size... It doesn't make a big difference, but it kinda does, you know? It's a lot different.
It's good that he sounds confident in his ability to make 125, because his prior experiences trying to make the weight sound extremely harrowing. Pettis talked about getting chest pains, his voice changing, and losing hearing in one ear, while trying to get down to flyweight in RFA:
Yeah, I went to 125 for the RFA, I had a hard weight cut. I was used to competing at 35, I got down there, my body fat percentage was like 2%. That's dangerous. Just anything I did: I had heart pains, I couldn't... I lost my hearing that day I made weight. So, it was weird. But, I did it a dumb way, I didn't do it the right way. You know, it's a trial and error, and it's something that I'll get better at, and I'm getting more mature and understand that I can't eat Oreos all the time.
Yeah, it was weird. I... My voice, I sounded like Shrek. My voice changed, I had chest pains always, my hearing, I didn't get much sleep. It was a lot different, but like I said, I wasn't doing it the correct way and the way I should be doing it.
My right ear, was just... Yeah, I couldn't, like... The day I was in the sauna, I just got out, I couldn't hear out of my right ear. I could hear my left and out of my right I was just like *snaps fingers* couldn't hear much, or anything, honestly. So, it was scary. That's when I thought 35 was better for me. But, like I said, I got better nutrition plan, and better eating habits outside of fighting.
Pettis also talked about the death of Dennis Munson Jr. and the effect that it's had on Roufusport, as well as the experience of fighting alongside his brother. So, check out the whole interview, it's well worth a listen.