Known more as a slugger for his wars inside the Octagon, Pete Sell's black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu has long become an afterthought. While his professional fighting career actually began in 2002, it wasn't until recently that he learned what it means to be a true mixed martial artist.
In the studio for this week's edition of The MMA Hour
, the Matt Serra black belt is saying in his one year and counting layoff, he has developed a different approach towards his fights.
"You know what? I'm a black belt in jiu-jitsu and all I do is bang with everybody," Sell told host Ariel Helwani. "I looked at the whole picture and what I'm doing, and now I've really re-amped my game. I'm going to mix it up more now."
Besides retooling his game, Sell, who was released from the UFC following his UFC 96 loss to Matt Brown, took time off for some much-needed rest and recovery for a nagging groin injury.
On the show, Sell touched on the Brown loss and despite referee Yves Lavigne admitting that he "screwed up" in allowing the fight to go longer than necessary, Sell defended Lavigne's officiating, saying his safety is secondary to the opportunity to fight back. "It's the fight game," Sell stated.
"A lot of people thought it was stopped too late, and I was like, 'Hell no,'" Sell said. "I always want the opportunity (to fight back) because I've had fights stopped short on me before."
As he recovers from his groin injury, Sell plans to hopefully fight again by the end of this year. And when he does, there will be an element of surprise for his future opponents.
"You don't know if I'm going to take you down or I'm going to hit you now," Sell said. "(I'm going to) become more of a mixed martial artist. It's a crazy thing that I'm a black belt, and I'm so confident on the floor with anybody in the world, and I'll stand in there and bang with you like an animal."