Peters a rising star in MMA world

2013-01-03T00:00:00Z 2013-07-05T15:43:13Z Peters a rising star in MMA worldBy JOHN LETASKY jletasky@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Sean Peters has twice returned from the jungles of Brazil victorious.

And in March, the 19-year-old Billings Skyview graduate hopes to conquer the South American jungle again.

Peters, a rising star in the world of mixed martial arts, recently returned to Billings after claiming a three-round unanimous decision over Brazil’s Dimitry Zebroski (8-4) at Jungle Fight 47 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Dec. 21.

The decision improved Peters’ professional record to 5-0 with one TKO and three submissions.

In Peters’ previous fight, at Jungle Fight 43 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sept. 29, 2012, he won by TKO at one minute, 16 seconds of the first round against Carlos Alberto Bazan Rojas.

Those two fights were part of three-round, eight-man bracket tournament to decide who would fight for Jungle Fight’s 155-pound championship. The championship bout’s date has not yet been set, but Peters said it will be in Brazil in March. The match will consist of five five-minute rounds and will be against Lucio Fernandes of Brazil.

“From his last fight he is pretty technical and a good striker, but I think my ground game is better and I can take him down at will,” Peters said of Fernandes. “The plan will be to take him down and submit him.”

The first time Peters was in Brazil he was there for almost a month and a half and the second time for a week. While there, he spends time being instructed by his teacher, Master Sylvio Behring.

Peters said he has studied Behring’s teachings for four years. In the beginning, Peters met Peter Iacavazzi when he was an instructor in Billings. Iacavazzi is a student of Behring’s.

“Mostly I trained with the team at the X-Gym,” Peters said of his first trip to Brazil, noting the gym is a huge facility where Behring is the lead jiu-jitsu coach. “I stayed at a little house with four other fighters and at the end of the trip I fought the first round of the tourney.”

As an amateur, Peters fought to a 12-4 record, saying he won all of his fights with first-round finishes. His four losses were all by stoppage as well. That fact sums up Peters’ fighting style.

“You can tell when you watch me fight as soon as we touch hands we get going,” Peters said. “It’s like I’m just going the whole time and don’t stop. It’s just kind of how I fight.

“Even the last one (against Zebroski), I would have finished the guy in the first round. I had him in the arm bar, but he got saved by the bell.”

The 5-foot-8 Peters has been married to wife Dani for a year and the two have a daughter, 11-month old Rori. While Peters is busy with his home life and training under a personal trainer at Gym Jay, he also finds time to teach -- and work out a little more -- at the Grindhouse.

Somehow, Peters manages to attend school at Montana State Billings. While he does not have a full-time job, he has spent time working various jobs -- including the restaurant business and roofing houses. He explained the family spends money wisely and approximately 15 local sponsors have helped send him to Brazil.

“I don’t know,” wife Dani said of how Peters juggles his schedule. “I know I couldn’t do it. He’s a very determined man.”

Peters' ultimate goal is making the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is the big leagues of mixed martial arts. He said Jungle Fight success has helped springboard the leap to the UFC for other MMA fighters.

“Right now it’s going good and the next step is to get into the UFC,” Peters said. “If I win my next fight, chances are I’ll get into the UFC.”

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