October 15, 2011 11:51 am by Pedro Carrasco

This past Saturday, Sergio “Showtime” Pettis showcased perhaps his most complete all-around showing to date in a split-decision victory over experienced KO artist Jeremy Stephens. It was a tough, back-and-forth battle, but in the end, “Showtime” got his hand raised in victory.

“This win over Stephens was huge! I needed to get back on the right track, and evolve as a fighter,” said Pettis (14-2). “Losing to [Clay] Guida was a small setback in my journey to become the UFC Lightweight Champion.”

“Showtime” put his all into his preparation for this all-important bout with Stephens. Training back home with his team at Roufusport, Pettis was happy to have his training partners and teammates in-house to help him get ready.

“At Roufusport, we got a group of guys that are all getting ready for battle, and that always helps immensely when you’re getting ready for a fight. I also had a full camp with Ben Askren for the first time, and I think you could see the difference in my wrestling. And I worked with Jo-Z [Joao Zeferino] on my jiu-jitsu, which is only going to make me better on the ground.”

Going into the scrap, many were expecting a standup war between two fighters known for their striking. Instead, both combatants exhibited strong all-around games in this rousing affair.

“I felt that I dealt with Stephens’ takedowns very well. When he was able to take me down, I worked my guard real well. And I was able to get back to my feet really quickly. I feel like I surprised him with my offensive wrestling, too.”

So, what’s next for “Showtime?”

“I feel like I’m climbing the ladder to a title shot. I had a really good showing against Stephens, who was really close to getting a title shot, too. I probably need a few more solid wins, but I got to take it one fight at a time, and keep improving and evolving.”

Everyone knows that it takes a team to make a fighter. Pettis is no different, and he’s grateful for the group of guys behind him.

“I want to thank my coach and team with Duke Roufus and Roufusport, and I want to thank all the fans for sticking with me even after I lost to Guida. And I definitely want to thank the UFC for allowing me to perform on this level. Dana White, Joe Silva, and all the people behind the scenes that make the machine go…thank you.”

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