Is there a hotter gym in MMA right now than Roufusport? Is there currently a hotter competitor in the sport than Anthony “Showtime” Pettis?
The answers to those questions are certainly debatable, but what isn’t debatable is the fact that the Milwaukee-based fight team helmed by striking legend Duke Roufus is making a major impact on mixed martial arts. Coming on the heels of Roufus protégé “Showtime” capturing the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 164 in Milwaukee, this battle-tested squad is riding high. Rick Glenn, another rising Roufusport product, recently grabbed a big win the World Series of Fighting promotion, while Mike “Biggie” Rhoades will be vying for the Resurrection Fighting Alliance welterweight belt soon. And Roufusport is well=represented in the UFC, with Pettis, Erik Koch, Pascal Krauss, Chico Camus, and Dustin Ortiz all calling the promotion home.
And yet, while the Roufusport stable is loaded from top to bottom with predators, some on the squad have yet to break through to the mainstream consciousness. The talent is there, the ability is there, the desire is there. The time just hasn’t come quite yet.
One of Roufusport’s rising stars just happens to be the younger brother of Anthony Pettis. “The Phenom” Sergio Pettis, who recently turned 20 years old, is viewed by many in MMA as a “can’t-miss” prospect with a world title in his future. A virtual clone of his older brother in both looks and fighting style, Sergio has already begun to carve out his own reputation in the fight world.
Undefeated at 8-0, Sergio recently captured his own piece of championship hardware, claiming the Resurrection Fighting Alliance Flyweight title at RFA 8. Now, he’s headed back home to battle another star on the rise in 21 year-old Indianian James Porter (7-1) inside Milwaukee’s historic Eagles Club Grand Ballroom at PETTIS VS PORTER-NAFC “Battle in the Ballroom” MMA.
This exciting fight event takes place on Saturday, September 28th. Featured will be two women’s fights, in which Roufusport’s Raquel Magdaleno and Kali Robbin will make their debuts. And Sergio Pettis will look to continue his family’s dominance while taking another big step in his career.
The RFA has generously loaned “The Phenom” exclusively to the NAFC for this event, allowing him to fight once again in front of his home crowd.
Going back to the evening of UFC 164, Sergio was in his big brother’s corner that night as Anthony garnered UFC gold. It was a magical night for the Roufusport team and the Pettis family.
“It was ridiculous. Honestly, I didn’t see my brother submitting [Benson] Henderson, either,” explains Sergio. “I expected a knockout, but he’s so confident in his entire skill set. He made it look so easy…it was astonishing. It was very inspiring. He was so focused in camp, and it was awesome to see if pay off.”
Having RFA gold around his waist, and then watching his brother claim a world title, Sergio is primed to prove he is a future force to be reckoned with, no matter where he fights.
“There’s always pressure going back to Milwaukee to fight,” Sergio says. “If I lose a fight, it could be a major setback in my career. But there’s a lot of momentum right now, and my brother really inspired me in his title fight. I feel like I’m close to my brother as far as skill set goes. He’s just a little bit more confident than me at this point. And now I just want to show that Sergio Pettis has his own set of skills.”
With his eye towards the future, Sergio knows he must make sure he keeps his focus on what’s next, and that’s James Porter. Getting prepared with his Roufusport brothers-in-arms, the “Phenom” is counting on their evolving sets of skills to carry him to victory.
“We’re brothers, and we’re going to take each other to the top. It’s amazing. We’ve got Duke Roufus, one of best striking coaches in the world. We’ve got Ben Askren…it’s so easy for him to put anybody on their back. Our Jiu-Jitsu is getting stronger. We’ve got black belts from Brazil. You can see that our Jiu-Jitsu is improving a lot, and everything is just coming together.
“And with this Porter fight, I want to showcase my aggressiveness. I want to come forward a lot more, as I am usually a counter-fighter. I also definitely would love to show off my Jiu-Jitsu. But no matter where the fight goes, I want to show off a well-rounded skill set.”
With such a bright future ahead of him, Sergio must be feeling pressure. Does he feel a sense of responsibility to both the Roufusport brand and the Pettis name?
“There’s pressure. My brother is one of the best in the world, and people are going to expect me to do a lot of the same things he’s doing, including finishing fights. I want to fill that role as well. I train hard so I can finish fights like him. I want to fight my way into the UFC and get my belt…really make a statement. I live with the guy, I see how hard he trains, and I train just as hard as he does. He’s very successful, so I want to be, as well. I want to take our gym and our family name as high as we possibly can.”
With his eye on Porter, Sergio is ready to claim his opportunity to join his brother and teammates in the UFC very soon, as he has gained much confidence from training daily with his UFC teammates. It likely won’t be long before we see “The Phenom” in the vaunted Octagon!
Don’t miss your opportunity to see the next Roufusport great, “The Phenom” Sergio Pettis, live in action next Saturday night in Milwaukee. Go to NAFC.tv for ticket ($35-$60) info and all the details.
PETTIS VS PORTER-NAFC “Battle in the Ballroom” MMA Saturday, September 28th, Eagles Grand Ballroom, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave. Doors and undercard 5:00 pm, main card start 7:00 pm.
For more information on Roufusport, please visit http://roufusport.com/. You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/roufusport, and on Twitter @RoufusportMMA.
Roufusport is run by famed kickboxer and MMA trainer Duke Roufus and his business partners Scott Joffe and Anthony Pettis. It is a world class brand that includes a state-of-the-art training facility, fight team, and MMA promotion, the North American Fighting Championship.
Duke Roufus is one of the most recognizable MMA and striking coaches in North America, and is considered to be one of the top trainers of Muay Thai kickboxing outside of Thailand. Roufus also runs the Roufusport Fight Club team, which includes UFC Lightweight World Champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, along with UFC stars Erik “New Breed” Koch, Chico “King” Camus, Dustin Ortiz and Germany’s Pascal “Panzer” Krauss, in addition to Olympic wrestler and Bellator Fighting Championship Welterweight World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren.
Former students include former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver, The Ultimate Fighter season one star Stephan Bonnar, and UFC veterans Pat Barry, Matt Mitrione, Ben Rothwell, and Jesse Lennox.