TUF 29 competitor Andre Petroski made a statement in his short-notice debut last month at UFC Vegas 35. The Pennsylvania native has a ton of talent coinciding with a 100% finish rate.
Petroski brought a 5-1 pro MMA record along with his extensive wrestling background with him into TUF 29. The 30-year-old exemplified his grappling prowess in the quarterfinals — scoring a first-round submission via guillotine. He’d go onto lose in the semis, but the UFC brass saw the potential and offered Petroski a fight on the TUF finale card.
For Petroski and those around him, it had been believed for quite a while that he’d eventually find his way to the UFC. Now 1-0, the middleweight has proved to be a threat.
Andre Petroski Interview
“Yeah, yeah I’d say it was probably about a matter of time,” he confirmed. “I think that the opportunity came a little sooner than expected. I think that I expected it to happen as soon as I got chosen to be on The Ultimate Fighter. At first, I didn’t think I was gonna get on it — at the time I was 5-1 — and I didn’t think that was gonna be enough fights. But once I got on there I knew it was kind of a golden opportunity. As far as the division I was in, the other fighters who were on the show, I just knew I was in a really good spot.”
Petroski was back home when he received the call from Mick Maynard to fight at UFC Vegas 35. The rest is history, as they say. That’s because he made the most of the opportunity — finishing Michael Gillmore via ground and pound in the third round.
“Honestly I thought that I would finish him earlier, especially at first when I had his back, Petroski said. “I figured that that opportunity would come, and it did, but obviously I didn’t finish him in the first. I kind of prefer it happening the way that it did to be honest because just getting that time in the cage is important. Especially when you can still get the finish.”
It was definitely a dream come true for Petroski, but like many fighters, he wishes it would’ve been in front of a crowded arena. Particularly considering the ‘showman’ element with Petroski’s stellar finish rate.
“I think I imagined it with a big crowd to be honest,” he replied. “I’m definitely not trying to be or sound ungrateful, but f*** man, big crowds, there’s nothing better than that. Hopefully one day I’m doing T-Mobile Arena or something like that — preferably MSG on Nov. 6. Yeah, I think the card’s full, but the first person that drops out, I’d love to be on that card.”
Learning from Team Ortega’s coaches
“I really enjoyed working with Rener Gracie,” Petroski affirmed. “Man, he’s just such a good instructor. Such a good teacher, just the way he teaches without confusing you. And he’s really good at really emphasizing the details that are important. He was awesome, really, really good to work with.”
“Brian (Ortega) you could just tell with his mentality that he’s built different,” he proclaimed. “Like I don’t think he has the same fears that most fighters have, you could just kinda tell. And I think that can explain a lot of why he’s so successful.”
Andre Petroski has all of the tools to be a threat in the UFC middleweight division. Make sure to be on the lookout for his next fight, because he’s a finish-hunter to the highest degree.