“I went 3-0 (in 2011), and I feel in those last two fights I was the best I’d ever been,” he said. “I knocked out John Kolosci and I stopped Rudy Bears.
“In that fight against Rudy Bears, I was on, everything came together that day. I was able to do things that I used to do and kind of got away from, but I was also able to mix it up with stuff I’ve learned over the years. It was the first time I felt like everything gelled.”
Petz further discussed how he was able to reach back into the past in order to become successful in the present. “Earlier in my career I was a big puncher, and as I started breaking into bigger shows like the UFC, I started thinking that I had better get a little more technically-oriented because I was in the big leagues, and I kind of messed up my technique without knowing it.
“I messed up my fundamental strength, I got away from the way that I punched, and I stopped knocking guys out. I got with my old boxing trainer and he showed me that I wasn’t standing like I had before, that I wasn’t using my hips like I used to, and it just kind of came together.”
After missing time off due to injury and illness, Petz will get an opportunity to showcase his renewed skillset when he takes on Serej Juskevic at Score Fighting Series 4 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, on March 16.
“I think early in his career he got thrown to the wolves and that’s why his record (11-6-2) is kind of spotty, but over the past four years he hasn’t fought a ton, but he’s won most of his fights,” said Petz of Juskevic.
“The advantage that I have is experience, obviously, and that I think I’m stronger and will hit harder than he does, and I think on the ground my jiu-jitsu will be better.”
He’s not taking his opponent lightly; Petz told MMAWeekly.com that Juskevic will have to rise to his level to have any chance of scoring the upset.
“He’s never fought anybody like me; this is kind of a step up for him; but I’ve fought guys like him before,” said Petz. “I’m not saying he can’t compete at that level, but he just hasn’t proven himself there yet.”
Having underperformed in his two previous UFC stints, Petz doesn’t know if he’ll be returning to the promotion any time soon, but he does hope that eventually they will see fit to get him one more shot before all is said and done.
“The two times that I got into the UFC, I kind of got in through the back door, somebody got hurt and they needed to put out a fire and I was available, and I’m not sure if I’m really on their radar right now the way my last performance for them went,” said Petz. “I might have to put together a bigger winning streak to get back on their radar.
“That’s not a problem for me; I like fighting. I just want to have a body of work beneath me that I can point to and be proud of, that I’ve fought good fights against good fighters and made some money at it.”