Welcome to the UFC: Ivana Petrović

Ivana Petrović and Luana Carolina, UFC Vegas 76
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 30: (L-R) Ivana Petrovic of Germany and Luana Carolina of Brazil face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC Apex on June 30, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The UFC is home once again at the UFC Apex this weekend, for a Fight Night event topped by middleweights Sean Strickland and Abus Magomedov. Aside from that rather surprising main event, a number of fights will be making their promotional debuts at UFC Vegas 76, including Germany’s Ivana Petrović.

 Ivana Petrović
Standing at five-foot-eight
Fighting at 125 lbs (flyweight)
Fighting out of Tonsberg, Norway
Training out of Orion MMA Academy
A pro record of 6-0
3 KO/TKOs, 2 Submissions

How will Petrović fare in the UFC:

Petrović is a fine signing considering what she’s done the last year and a half. Last September she won the vacant Ares FC women’s flyweight title. This past April she defended that title and now is in the UFC.

Her resume looks better on paper compared to how her performances have looked, however. In her fight against Marta Waliczek, I thought she lost but was gifted a decision. She was losing to Alexandra Tekenah until she found the finish. Her win against Ewelina Wozniak is fine but Wozniak is a natural strawweight.

Petrović is most comfortable on the mat even if that’s off her back. Going to her back is where she usually starts. Her takedown defense is lackluster but she is completely fine with that, even pulling guard to get the fight there. Off your back is never where you want to be but Petrović does a good job there. She’s constantly moving throwing up her legs working submissions. She’s good on her back and good at transitions in general. Petrović isn’t a dominant grappler but she’s definitely an opportunist.

Petrović has a few glaring holes. Her takedown defense is terrible. Although she’s good off her back it’s not at a higher level. On the feet the only thing she can work off of is the straight punches she throws. Other than that she throws single strikes putting out low output. Her hands get repetitive and lack any kind of setups. Her defense is a bit shaky as she’s been touched up and dropped a few times in her career.

Petrović deserves a UFC shot for capturing the Ares title. She also has good names on her record beating Wozniak and Tekenah. Her skill set doesn’t match her record and I don’t view her as a ranked fighter. Petrovic isn’t put together enough to be a threat in the division anytime soon.

How she matches up with Carolina:

Carolina is in need of a win given she’s dropped her last two and is 3-3 in the UFC. Carolina is a Muay Thai fighter so Petrović is going to want to ground this fight. Carolina has decent takedown defense. It’s not great but she did stop Lupita Godinez thirteen times, who’s a better wrestler than Petrović. I don’t see the wrestling of Petrović being good enough and she isn’t active enough on the feet. I’m picking Carolina to win by decision.