After picking up a first round TKO win in October 2018, Andre Petroski (1-0) returns to action once again when he takes on Donelei Benedetto (2-2) at Art of War 11 this coming Saturday, Feb. 16 in Philadelphia.
For Petroski, a fan favorite in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’, the victory a few short months ago taught him a valuable lesson.
“That fight was the most important fight I’ve ever had,” Petroski said.
“I learned a lot about myself. I had never been dropped like that. I’m going to get knocked out one day, it is going to happen, but I learned that if I get hit like that, I can keep on fighting. It’s going to take more than a punch to keep me down. I can take a hit and keep on coming. I needed that, I needed to find out what I was made of.”
The 27-year old fighter has a strong wrestling pedigree, having competed for three universities. His muscular frame resembles that of a lifelong grappler but it is his drive for competition that goes relatively unmatched.
“I immediately fell in love with mixed martial arts. I wanted more. I wanted to test myself. I’ve been hooked ever since I first gave it a try,” he said.
Petroski’s amateur MMA career would span just two years, taking on eight opponents.
His competitive drive didn’t end with just mixed martial arts. He took on several kickboxing bouts, meaning Petroski would find himself in either a ring or a cage nearly every other month over the course of the past 24 months.
Now with a pro win under his belt, Petroski has an eye on the challenges that stand in front of him.
“I’ve seen some older film on him (Benedetto),” Petroski said. “He’s a southpaw and I have had some issues with other southpaws, so we are working on that.”
Petroski said that he trains at a variety of gyms in the area but that for this camp specifically he is working his striking at 302 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and his ground game is being developed by one of the best black belts in the game today, Ricardo Migliarese.
With plans to get past Benedetto this weekend, Petroski looks to his future in the sport.
“I would love to fight several times this year, but I also want to go in on somebody else’s turf, I want to be the bad guy,” he said.
“I want to test my skills in someone else’s backyard.”
Petroski brings a large fan following with him whenever he fights. Spectators will pack the 2300 Arena this Saturday to support their fighter.
“I’ve always very social. I wrestled for three schools. I know a lot of people, so it is great to have that kind of support when you are going into a fight.”
Along with his fan support, also comes support in the way of sponsors.
The support extends even to his place of employment where his boss, a former wrestler himself, “gets it.”
“He’s awesome. He knows I may need time off for training or cutting weight. He gets it.
Doors for the fights open at 6 p.m. with the first bout kicking off at 7.
For Art of War Cage Fighting ticket information, visit their Facebook page.