While Sergio
is the one defending the bantamweight championship at

Bellator 297
on Friday, he still seems like the B-side to
in many respects.

For one, much has been made of Freire’s cut to 135 pounds and his
quest to become a title holder in three different divisions.
Meanwhile, Pettis has been flying under the radar during an absence
that has lasted more than a year and a half due to recovery from a
knee injury. “The Phenom” isn’t concerning himself with any of the
external chatter, however.

“I’m not worried about this whole narrative of three-time champion
or me coming back,” Pettis said during Bellator media day. “I feel
like I’ve gotten a lot better in the sport and as a person. This
whole narrative is cool for social media, but I’m going to go out
there and get the job done. I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do to

Pettis added that he doesn’t think he will be negatively affected
by the layoff.

“I don’t know anything about ring rust; it’s my first time dealing
with ring rust,” he said. “I think it’s more of a mental thing. I’m
not putting that into my head at all. It’s going out there, being
natural, and being me. If I’m me, I don’t think ring rust will be a
problem at all. I’ve had a lot of stress that I’m ready to let
loose of this Friday night.”

While Freire’s journey for a third championship belt hasn’t reached
its end, the Brazilian has already mentioned interest in pursuing
gold in Bellator’s newly-launched flyweight division. Pettis thinks
that might be a mistake.

“This guy’s getting greedy, man,” Pettis said. “I get it, he’s
trying to make a legacy, but I think he’s looking past me.”

Pettis has experience competing at 125 pounds earlier in his career
but doesn’t appear to be interested in revisiting that move in the
near future.

“If it made sense, I probably would, but as of right now, I don’t
want to cut that extra weight,” he said.

Freire is currently the Bellator featherweight champion, and he
also had a brief reign as a title holder at 155 pounds. Freirehas
been confident about his ability to make weight in a new division,
and Pettis also believes his opponent will avoid any serious issues
on the scales.

“I’m sure with the amount of time he had to prepare, I’m sure he
did the nutrition right. But I fought at 125 before, so I know what
it’s like to cut an extra ten pounds. It’s a lot,” Pettis said.
“But I’m sure he’ll be himself, and that’s what I’m ready for.”

After not being able to compete in the Bellator bantamweight grand
prix, Pettis is looking forward to jumping back into the fray with
a high-profile bout against perhaps the most accomplished fighter
in promotion history.

“I’m blessed to be back here. It’s been 18 months. I’ve learned a
lot over the last year, more personal than anything, but I think
I’ve done the right things to be ready.

“This is the biggest fight of my career, for sure. Especially after
the injury, getting thrown into the deep end, for sure.”

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Sergio Pettis Thinks Patricio Freire Might Be Overlooking Him Ahead of Bellator 297