According to Roufus, he’s going to use part of it to get corrective eye surgery.
“He’s been wearing contacts into the cage,” Roufus said. “They get knocked out early in the fight, so what happens is he stands there squinting in front of his opponents. That’s what’s caused him to get hit so much in his last two fights. It’s easier for him to look at them if he stays still in front of his opponents instead of moving his feet.”
It’s a similar problem to the one that teammates Erik Koch and Pettis’ older brother Anthony faced, Roufus said. The lightweight champ also used to fight with contacts in his eyes, according to Roufus, and when they were inevitably knocked out, it didn’t exactly help his chances.
“It dramatically improved Anthony’s game,” Roufus said. “So that’s what Sergio’s going to do. He’s going to reinvest that bonus wisely and get that corrective surgery.”
Of course, even improved vision won’t magically insulate the younger Pettis brother from the risks inherent in an MMA fight. Particularly in the UFC’s quickly developing bantamweight division, there are plenty of things that can go wrong in the cage, and as Roufus was quick to point out, experience will be key to Pettis’ success going forward.
“He’s just got to get used to the big lights,” Roufus said. “He’s a 20-year-old kid, and there’s a lot of pressure on him, but I was proud of him. It was hard. He was heartbroken, but that’s the fight game. Combat sports are two-way traffic. If you’re ready to win, you better also be ready to bounce back from losses.”