There aren’t too many brother duos who enjoyed success at the highest level in mixed martial arts (MMA). Ken and Frank Shamrock were both successful in the early days in the sport, as were Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who kicked things off in PRIDE before making their way to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Then came the “Pitbull” brothers, Patricky and Patricio Freire, who both earned titles under the Bellator MMA banner. Long before Sergio Pettis earned his first-ever taste of MMA gold at the highest level, his older brother, Anthony Pettis, was making waves as the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Lightweight champion before winning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold in 2013.
Two years before “Showtime” was at the top of the sport under the UFC banner, Sergio made his professional MMA debut, and went on to in nine straights before eventually earning a UFC contract himself in 2014.
According to Pettis, he considers himself a late bloomer in the fight game and says it took a while to really grow into who he was as a fighter while being under the shadow of his superstar older brother.
“I just want to be an example for everyone who is a late bloomer. I feel like I am a late bloomer, and it took me time to really develop my game, my skill, and my confidence,” said Pettis during a pre-fight press conference.
“Growing up I was not a confident individual and had a lot of anxiety. With that, I was also under my brother’s shadow but in those dark times I was able to learn who I am.”
After a run inside the Octagon that saw him earn a 9-5 record, Pettis eventually bolted to Bellator MMA, where we he won the Bantamweight title three-fights into his career with the promotion.
He has since racked up two title defenses over Kyoji Horiguchi and the aforementioned Patricio Pitbull to improve his Bellator record to 5-0. Still in the prime of his career, Pettis has truly become one of the best 135-pound fighters on the planet .
He will look to keep that momentum going when he defends his belt for a third time against interim champion Patchy Mix in the co-main event of Bellator 301 this Friday night (Nov. 17, 2023) in Chicago, Illinois.
To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.