Light heavyweights Vitor Petrino and Anton Turkalj both won to stay undefeated in their Dana White’s Contender Series fights in 2022, but initially Petrino got a contract for his knockout win and Tukalj did not for a decision.
However the Swedish Turkalj took a short notice bout with now-ranked heavyweight Jailton Almeida which got him in the door. Despite losing to Jailton, at UFC Las Vegas he looked to turn that loss into a positive by winning his second UFC fight against Petrino.
The pair danced and clashed on the feet early until a body lock allowed Petrino to get a takedown into top half-guard. Turkalj was able to be urgent and use the fence to get to his feet, still stuck against the cage. Turkalj was then able to take him down, but Vitor jumped right up. The pair continually reversed each other in the clinch, landing little damage, before separating halfway through the round. Oftentimes when striking the pair both ran forward with strikes until their bodies collided and they entered a clinch exchange.
With one minute left Petrino suddenly opened up with a flurry of hooks in the pocket and hurt Turkalj badly. The Swede felt to his back but then hurt Petrino with an upkick. Petrino recovered and got top control, using it to punch the body as the round ended.
Turkalj opened round two with a failed takedown and then ate another monster hook in the pocket from a wild Petrino that hurt Anton. He failed at another takedown before getting taken down himself by Petrino, but he got back up and worked for the takedown. Turkalj got the the rear body-lock and dragged Petrino down multiple times before getting both hooks in. However, when forcing him to the ground, Petrino was able to roll through and end up on top in full guard, escaping a horrible position.
Petrino worked to take the back as Turkalj stood up but he could not, instead slamming him to the mat halfway through the round. Turkalj got back up and got the body lock again. He tried to take the back and finally got it with two minutes left. However, Petrino did the same move as last time and spun in to end up on top. Turkalj stood right up, with a cage grab assisting him on the way. Petrino was breathing hard by that point, having used a lot of energy. Turkalj then hurt his opponent with strikes and went for a takedown, but could not land it. A spinning back elbow miss from Turkalj ended the round.
The final round began with scorecards up in the air after a back and forth round two. Early on Turkalj worked his way to the rear bodylock again and got the hooks in again. This time Petrino could not spin into him before Turkalj locked up the body triangle with his back to the mat. However Petrino was still able to turn into it with insane flexibility and then went right into full mount from there. Turkalj walked the fence to escape but Petrino got on his back. He had a rear naked choke grip with no hooks, and Turkalj spun into him to get on top again.
Turkalj once again used the rear body-lock to take the back, but this time transitioned to mount, then back to the back take. Vitor looked to isolate an arm so he could spin into him and he was able to do just that, ending up in top half with two minutes left. Turkalj was able to claw his way up but Petrino took him down two more times. With one minute left he got back to striking distance. Both men landed big powerful shots. Turkalj clinched up and took the back but with only thirty seconds left he had to work fast. Petrino reversed him and got a massive slam takedown with ten seconds left. He finished the bout standing above the Swede raining down hooks.
The decision was not a sure thing but it seemed that Brazilian Vitor Petrino had won most of the fight. When the judges scorecards were read by Joe Martinez, that thought was confirmed as all three judges judges gave him all three rounds, with one judge even giving him a 10-8 round. Petrino earned a hard fought win in his UFC debut and remained undefeated, moving to 8-0 as a professional.
Official Result: Vitor Petrino def. Anton Turkalj by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)