Sergio Pettis reflects on Rizin 47 loss to Kyoji Horiguchi: ‘It’s an eye-opener’

Sergio Pettis wasn’t able to replicate what he did to Kyoji Horiguchi back in 2021.

The two fought this Sunday in Tokyo, Japan in the main event of Rizin 47. Pettis (23-7), who had defeated Horiguchi (33-5-1) by knockout in their first outing under the Bellator banner, lost a unanimous decision. The former Bellator champion didn’t expect to get beat in the fashion that he did, and was surprised with how things went down.

“He went out there and got comfortable,” Pettis said when asked about his decision loss at the Rizin 47 post-fight press conference. “He put me on my back and controlled me in the corners, and did a good job in the wrestling department.

“Like I said, this is something I’ve always lacked throughout my career, and it’s an eye-opener. I’ve been prepping for all these wrestlers my whole career, but there are some guys that still sneak through, and Horiguchi ended up being one of those guys. It is what it is, and I’ll get better at that.”

Pettis is currently signed with PFL and has yet to debut under the new regime, as the promotion bought Bellator back in November. He says a return to the PFL-Bellator cage is next for him.

“I have a lot of stuff to get back to at home with Bellator and the PFL,” Pettis said. “I have a lot of opportunities there for me, but I’m down for wherever the journey takes me. I started my career in the UFC for six years and when I was younger I thought that’s where I was going to be my whole life, but I went over to Bellator and got an opportunity to come over here for Rizin. I’m down for whenever the martial arts road takes me. I’m a martial artist at the end of the day.”

Rizin 47 marked the first time that Pettis fights in Japan. Overall, he had a positive experience, and would love to do it again, but this time get his hand raised.

“I felt there was some love from the fans, and in general the Japanese fans are amazing,” Pettis said. “They’re very supportive and very nice. It was amazing to see how every seat was filled from beginning to end. Back in the states, it’s the opposite. They wait till the main event for the crowd to be filled. The production and everything behind the scenes was amazing, so thank you. What an opportunity. I will never forget this moment, even though I lost.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie