‘Pretty little boy face’ Sergio Pettis likes being called out in Bellator: ‘It’s cool being a target’

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LOS ANGELES – As soon as Sergio Pettis signed his Bellator contract, he was called out by an array of fighters.

Pettis (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), will be making his promotional debut at Bellator 238 when he takes on fellow newcomer Alfred Khashakyan at The Forum on Saturday night.

He’s already been called out by the likes of James Gallagher and Leandro Higo, something he knew was inevitable, considering his last name.

“For sure, I’m a Pettis,” he told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “As soon as I signed that contract I had the whole division calling me out. I had people from upper divisions calling me out, so it is what it is. But I’m excited. It’s cool being a target.”

After finishing out his UFC contract, Pettis decided to explore free agency, and eventually opted to sign for Bellator. The reason behind his choice? The timing just felt right for him to try something new.

“I’ve spent six years in the UFC, and obviously I thought the main end goal was to be there,” Pettis said. “And I’ve been there the whole time and I’m just like, man, it doesn’t even matter who you fight as long as I get a fight, and have fun where I’m fighting at. Bellator put up a good offer for me, so I’m here and I’m excited to be here.”

He takes on former Dana White’s Contender Series competitor and fellow debutant Khashakyan (11-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who has notable wins over UFC veterans Albert Morales and Chris Beal on his record. It’s a test Pettis says he certainly isn’t taking lightly.

“Once you go out there and fight in the cage, everybody’s dangerous – especially Alfred: 11-4, all 11 knockouts,” Pettis said. “He’s going to try and come out there and (expletive) me up. My face is a pretty little boy face, so I think he’s going to come out there and try to (expletive) me up. So I’m excited.”