Middleweight action kicked off the televised preliminary card at Saturday’s UFC 281 in New York City, as Andre Petroski faced off with Brazil’s Wellington Turman.
To a backdrop of U.S.A. chants inside Madison Square Garden, Turman held center, firing kicks to the body while Petroski stayed busy outside. A high kick by Turman was blocked; Petroski connected moments later with a right hand that drew a reaction from both the crowd, and the Brazilian middleweight.
Wellington’s kicks, meanwhile, were finding some success, as he worked over the lead leg of Petroski — resulting in a stance switch, though Petroski had shown several of those early in the fight. The fight wouldn’t stay standing long however. Near the midway mark, Petroski shot in for a takedown, and after encountering a bit of resistance, landed it.
Back on the feet, Turman began working over the body as the round wore on, and Petroski had seemingly slowed. With under 20 seconds to go, however, Petroski grabbed a leg, finishing one last takedown just prior to the buzzer — but eating a few elbows for his efforts.
A Petroski body kick was the first significant strike of the second frame; Turman, meanwhile, continued to attack the lead leg of his opponent. Petroski then changed levels to grab a leg, but nearly gave up his neck in a guillotine attempt. Still, the danger quickly subsided and resulted in Petroski having side control. He transitioned to the top, and took the back as Turman attempted to escape up and out. The end result of that was Turman being dragged back down, though he wouldn’t stay down for long.
Back at center, Turman mixed up his hands and front kicks, but Petroski again snatched a leg. Again, he had to contend with a guillotine, but he found less resistance in this second attempt. Turman was back up much more quickly this time out, and when Petroski tried to drag him down again, Turman turned the tables, snapping Petroski down to the mat. They wouldn’t stay down long, and it was Petroski getting the fight back down towards the final minute, briefly taking mount before moving back into half-guard and dropping some heavy elbows.
The third round started strong for Petroski, as he got the fight down early and moved into mount. Elbows flowed, and Petroski went hunting for an arm-triangle. The scrambles from Petroski and Turman had been slick all night, but Petroski clearly had the edge, transitioning from position to position with ease.
The Ultimate Fighter 29 alum Andre Petroski finished out the round riding the back as Turman stood up, then slamming the Brazilian down with little more than a minute remaining. Turman was in need of a Hail Mary, but such divine intervention was nowhere to be found. Instead, Petroski was in the driver’s seat to the final buzzer, following which a clear-cut decision victory was awarded to the Pennsylvania native.
Official Result: Andre Petroski def. Wellington Turman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)