The 21-year old bantamweight, whose older brother Anthony defends his title against Gilbert Melendez in the co-main event Saturday night at Mandalay Bay, got the Pettis brothers in the win column on the undercard, scoring a dominant win over Dallas' Matt Hobar.
The judges' scores were 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27 for a unanimous decision.
In the opening round, Hobar (9-3) dropped Pettis (12-1) at the outset. But he wasn't able to do much with it. Pettis landed several upkicks from the bottom and worked several submissions on Hobar.
"It was more of a wakeup," Pettid said of getting dropped. "He woke me up with that punch, and I went to go for the finish."
Round two was all Pettis. He drilled Hobar with a right-footed head kick, opened up with a flurry of hooks and uppercuts, and dropped Hobar to the matt. From there he landed several right hands. Later in the round, he got Hobar into a tight leg triangle. To Hobar's credit, he survived the round, but he came out of it with his left eye nearly swollen shut.
In round three, Pettis continued to dominate. Perhaps learning from his bout with Alex Caceres, though, in which he gave away a fight he was winning in the closing seconds, Pettis did nothing reckless and cruised as he closed out his victory, demonstrating a maturity in his game.
"I'm only 21," said Pettis, who has won three of his four fights in the UFC. "I'm going to get better, you're going to see me get better with every fight."