Forrest Petz Says Version of Him That Fought in UFC Was “A Total Different Dude”
Surging Welterweight Ready to Face Strikeforce’s Jordan Mein
By Kelsey Mowatt
Recently the Canadian based Score Fighting Series likely turned some heads throughout the MMA world, when it announced that Strikeforce had agreed to loan out Jordan Mein, and that the rising welterweight would compete in it’s upcoming November 23rd card. While the ZUFFA property’s decision was welcome news to the SFS and Mein, it was also celebrated by UFC vet Forrest Petz, who will meet the Strikeforce competitor in the card’s main event.
“I’ve seen him fight and I knew he’s a guy on the way up,” the 37 year-old Petz told Full Contact Fighter recently. “I just thought it was a good opportunity for me to kind of put myself back on the map.”
Since Mein signed with Strikeforce, the 23 year-old has demonstrated why he has been long regarded one of Canada’s top prospects, by scoring wins over Evangelista Santos and Tyler Stinson. The fighter’s only loss to date with the promotion, came via split decision to top contender Tyron Woodley.
Petz has also been padding his resume recently, however, as the Ohio fighter has now gone 4-0 since he exited from the UFC in 2010. If ZUFFA matchmakers haven’t taken notice of his run yet, a win over a signed fighter like Mein won’t go unnoticed.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself; right now I’m just focusing on that, but in the long term, it’s got to,” said Petz, when asked if he believes defeating Mein could open the door to another opportunity in the Octagon. “It’s got to be for at least something; somebody gets hurt in the UFC and they need a replacement. I have to be on the list of guys that are legitimate replacements, so, nothing bad can come from it. It’s got to put me on the map.”
Not only has Petz (25-9) won four straight, since he lost to Brian Foster at a UFC Fight Night card in September, 2010, but the Strong Style Fight Team member has recorded three straight stoppage wins.
“He’s a total different dude,” said Petz, when asked to compare the fighter he was two years ago to the one that will fight Mein on November 23rd. “I’d say from about 2007 on, my technique eroded. I had problems where I almost lost my punching power, which is something that never happens. In boxing, no one ever loses their power, but I wasn’t using my hips the right way the same way I do now. It took a while to get the mechanics right again.”
“Now that I am, I’ve been fighting back to the way I did back in 2006,” Petz added, who is coming off a memorable, second round TKO victory over Sergej Juskevic at a SFS event in March. “I’m never going to be a finesse guy; I’m never going to be the most technically sound guy, but as far as this one aspect goes that was where I got my power from. I got it back and I’ve knocked the last three dudes out. I’m sure anybody that you talk to that I’ve fought since then will tell you that I hit pretty hard.”
Of course, in Mein (25-8), Petz will face a fighter who has technical striking skills that have posed a problem for many established vets like Joe Riggs, Josh Burkman and the aforementioned Santos and Stinson.
“He’s a well rounded guy,” said Petz. “He tends to be more of a stand-up fighter, but I don’t want to plan on just, you know, I’m ready for everything with the guy…he’s a tough dude in all aspects of the game and that’s the kind of guy I want to fight.”
The upcoming, November 23rd SFS will be hosted by Hamilton, Ontario’s Place Theatre and the main card will be broadcast live on The Score Network and AXS TV.