Covering the regional mixed martial arts scene for as long as I have, one of the most difficult things to do is stay neutral and unbiased especially when you are cageside commentating on fights. You talk to many of the same fighters over and over again and establish relationships that are more than reporter to fighter. While it may be hard, it is also rewarding as I have met many great athletes who are also great people. Men and women who pour their energy and heart into a sport that brings so many enjoyment. The more you learn about them, the more you become a fan and a friend.
Andre Petroski is one of these men I speak of. Getting to see how much he enjoys new fatherhood and the brotherhood of his teammates reminds me of why this brutal sport is so amazing, especially when you are blessed to be so close to the action. The biggest thing I have learned about Dre’ is that he is truly a student of the sport and works hard not only on the mats and in the cage, but constantly analyzes and studies any fight he can possibly watch to pick-up on technique and every nuance possible. He says that it all started as he wrestled for most of his life and then found jiu-jitsu. It has been his life-style since forever and he is constantly looking for the biggest challenges that will help him reach his ultimate goal of getting to the UFC and being a world champion.
Petroski’s next test comes in the main event on All-Star Weekend at Art of War 16 (Feb 7th) as he defends his middleweight championship against the dangerous, Andre’ Hall (9-0 ammy, 4-1 pro). Hall is similar to Petroski as he is fearless and has a victory over current UFC fighter, Eryk Anders, on his resume. This is a battle of two elite athletes. I stopped over to Balance Studios in Philadelphia to chat with the champ. Please check out our interview on the link above. Dre tells me…
“I consider my self more of a competitor than a fighter. Pat Brady (reigning AOW ammy HWT champ) and I watch every UFC event and are always recognizing technique and talking about it all of the time, not just in the gym. As far as Andre’, on paper he is absolutely my best opponent. When I watch him fight, he’s not the fighter that brings the most fear inside of me. I respect wins, and he has had his hand raised a lot, so in that perspective, he definitely is a great competitor.”
The defending champ is 4-0 with four finishes and does not just rely on technique that he picks up himself. He trains at probably the most dangerous room in the region at Balance Studios and sister school 302 BJJ. “The Animal” Ricardo Migliarese is the Godfather of BJJ in Philadelphia and a large contingent of active fighters who help prepare Andre for war. This battle should be epic.
Stay right here for live results as MyMMANews continues to set the standard in combat sports coverage.
Andre Petroski would like to thank his sponsors below: