by Luis Cruz – MMAWeekly.com
Ultimate Fighter 2 participant Seth Petruzelli returns as part of EliteXC’s preliminary card on the upcoming CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights card after a year layoff.

Petruzelli will take on ShoXC veteran Aaron Rosa who was undefeated at 10-0 before losing two in a row in ShoXC. Both fighters will be looking to resurrect their mixed martial arts careers on Oct. 4 under the EliteXC banner.

On what he’s been doing since his year hiatus from the sport, Petruzelli told MMAWeekly.com, “I opened up my own Smoothie King franchise in Florida. I have to think of life past fighting.”

He is now focused on Rosa, however, “He’s tall with a good left hook and straight right combo. I’m going to bang with him and get the KO.”

Petruzelli has been competing in mixed martial arts for over eight years, but only has 13 fights on his resume, a number which seems small considering his time in the sport. He has been plagued with injuries while preparing for fights, but Petruzelli says he is where he expects to be in preparations for this bout. “Are any of us ever 100%? Yes, I’m hurting in a couple places, but feeling good. My goal is to eventually capture the title in EliteXC.”

With injuries always looming, he decided on a backup plan, which included a new gym and a smoothie shop. “Everything is going well, we’re all training hard. We got a new gym brewing in Orlando very soon. The Smoothie King is going very well, but the hurricanes around here aren’t helping.”

As Petruzelli prepares for his return to the cage, he’s also remained in contact with his good friends and former castmates from The Ultimate Fighter 2, mostly with Keith Jardine and Rashad Evans, whom Petruzelli believes will win his challenge against former UFC champion Chuck Liddell on Saturday night at UFC 88 in Atlanta. “Rashad will win by KO. He’s been training hard for this fight, he’s more than ready.”

While Evans is in for the fight of his life, Petruzelli is also in dire need of a big win to put himself back in the light heavyweight limelight. A win over a talented fighter like Rosa is a good start. Come Oct. 4, the Smoothie King will be put on hold and the intense Petruzelli we’ve come to know will show up and be ready to put on a performance to show he isn’t quite dead in MMA yet.