Las Vegas, NV — Brazilian light heavyweight Vitor Petrino finally feels like he’s officially arrived in the UFC, after opening up Saturday’s UFC Las Vegas main card against Anton Turkalj.
The pair, both Contender Series alums, wound up being awarded Fight of the Night, though Petrino easily took the fight on the scorecards.
“I’m happy I can finally call myself a UFC fighter. I walked the walk, I got into the cage, I fought, I won,” the undefeated Petrino (8-0) told media outlets including Cageside Press following the bout. “I got my arm raised. Now nobody can contest it, I’m a UFC fighter.”
In terms of surprises in the fight, there weren’t many, though Petrino singled out one obstacle. “I think the biggest surprise was the upkick, it really caught me well and I felt it. But I was able to recover. In my gym I train really hard, so it’s not the first time I’ve felt something like this. So I was able to take my time, recover, and get back at it.”
Ahead of the fight, there was plenty of trash talk on Turkalj’s part, something Vitor Petrino addressed backstage.
“Talk is cheap. Even a parrot can talk. Whatever he says outside of the cage, the moment the door closes, he’s going to have to back [up] anything [he said]. I’m happy with how it went, he did what he had to do, and it didn’t really make a difference in the end.”
Petrino looked like he wanted to say something to his opponent as Turkalj exited the octagon once the scores had been read, but didn’t get the chance. “He got away pretty quick, but I just wanted to tell him that kindness generates kindness, and that’s what I did to him in there.”
As for the fake-out handshake and finger wag by Turkalj at Friday’s weigh-in, “it was just a very childish game,” noted Petrino. “But once the door closes, there is no way around it. He’s going to have to back, whatever he’s putting outside, he’s going to have to back it in the cage. And we saw how that went.”
Watch the full UFC Las Vegas post-fight media appearance by Vitor Petrino above.