Sergio Pettis was scheduled to battle Kai Kara-France at UFC 245, but was pulled from the matchup when it came to light that his current UFC contract has concluded. Pettis is now exploring free agency, and from the sounds of it, he can expect some interest from Japan’s RIZIN Fighting Federation.
Speaking to BJPENN.com’s Tom Taylor, RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara commented on Pettis’ free agency. He believes the long-time UFC flyweight contender could be a great addition to the RIZIN bantamweight division.
I asked RIZIN boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara if he’s interested in pursuing new free agent Sergio Pettis. This is what he said: pic.twitter.com/DJors3Mzdo
— Tom Taylor (@TomTayMMA) October 4, 2019
“Of course we are interested in Sergio, and given the fact that our Bantamweight division is growing with Kyoji Horiguchi along with domestic and international talent, putting him in the mix would be a great way to stir things up,” Sakakibara said of Pettis. “Obviously he would have to come up a weight class but many of our Bantamweights fought at Flyweight prior to signing with us and are doing well.
“All the fighters who fight in RIZIN have a theme and are looking to tell their story. We put in our greatest efforts to bring out the best of their talent and character. So if Sergio and his management are just looking for big paychecks and looking to shop around and negotiate, we may not be the best option for him at the moment. But if you ask me if I’m interested or not, my answer would be yes.”
Sergio Pettis last fought at UFC Mexico, when he defeated the debuting Tyson Nam by decision. Prior to that, he was defeated by Rob Font in the bantamweight division, and by Jussier Formiga in his native flyweight division. This skid was preceded by a split decision victory over the great Joseph Benavidez, far and away the biggest victory of his career.
Do you think Sergio Pettis would be a good fit for RIZIN Fighting Federation, where monsters like Kyoji Horiguchi, Kai Asakura, Ben Nguyen, Ulka Sasaki and Hiromasa Ogikubo would await?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/4/2019.