Bellator MMA bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis (22-5) has been forced to sit on the sidelines and watch as the promotion’s bantamweight grand prix unfolds.
That’s a tough pill for any fighter to swallow, made tougher still by the fact that he’s missing out on a chance to compete for a million dollars. Yet, as Pettis admitted back stage during Friday’s Bellator 289 in Uncasville, Connecticut, his time off due to an ACL injury has been a blessing in disguise.
“It’s been a whole year since I’ve been to a Bellator event,” Pettis noted on Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena. “It feels good to be able to move again. You don’t know how much you take it for granted. I didn’t know how important the ACL was until I tore it.”
Pettis believes he’ll be ready to go in Spring, at the end of the tournament. Worst case scenario Summer. “One hundred percent,” he stated. By then, he’ll be able to take on the winner of the tournament, one of Raufeon Stots, his teammate, or Patchy Mix.
Their date has note yet been announced. But the return of Pettis is nigh, and the 29-year old admitted that yes, the time away, over a year now, was beneficial.
“For sure, it is. And it’s kind of crappy to say that, because obviously I had a beautiful last year, 2021,” Pettis explained. “I got my belt, got engaged, had my most viral knockout in my career. And this year was going to be another great year, possibly fighting for a million dollars.”
But, Pettis added, getting injured and realizing he needed to take time off allowed him “to work on myself, grow my confidence, work on my body — I was really beat up. I didn’t really realize how beat up I was after competing for 11 years.”
Watch the full media appearance by Sergio Pettis at Bellator 289 above.