In August, the last UFC show closes out your MMA weekend this Saturday night as the UFC APEX facility plays host to UFC Vegas 35.
Barring any last-minute postponements of fights, it’ll be a 12-fight card including both finals of The Return of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as a middleweight confrontation between debuting fighters earlier in Saturday’s main card. Former LFA middleweight Andre Petroski (5-1) will battle former WXC stalwart Mike Gillmore (6-3) in a three-round fight at five minutes per round.
UFC Vegas 35 Fighter Comparison
Heading into UFC Vegas 35 on Saturday night, Andre Petroski is taller at six feet even, with Micheal Gillmore standing 5-foot-11. Unlike most fight previews and breakdowns on this site, no reach or leg reach advantage information is accessible for this fight.
Former TUF Competitor Petroski Hopes to Make Good in UFC Debut at UFC Vegas 35
A universal storyline for this fight is the fact that both men are hoping to make good in their respective UFC promotional debut this Saturday, and both of these men have competed on this season of The Ultimate Fighter. Andre Petroski makes his UFC debut less than three months after appearing on TUF, scoring the victory on the season’s premiere episode (first-round submission due to guillotine choke) against Aaron Phillips in the program’s featured bout.
Petroski was eliminated from the middleweight tournament in the semifinal round (second-round submission) against eventual middleweight finalist Bryan Battle. As far as his last five professional MMA fights, he’s posted a record of 4-1 in that stretch and saw his four-fight winning streak snapped last October (second-round knockout due to knee strikes and ground and pound shots) against Aaron Jeffery in LFA 93’s headlining bout.
Micheal Gillmore Hopes to Bounce Back from Submission Loss on TUF Earlier this Year
In the other corner, Micheal Gillmore will make his first professional MMA appearance in more than a year and a half on Saturday night, having not fought in such about since January of last year, scoring a unanimous decision win against Perry Stargel during WXC’s Warrior Wednesday XI. He’s gone 4-1 in his last five professional MMA fights.
As far as The Ultimate Fighter is concerned, his run on the show was short-lived as the alternate in the middleweight tournament was eliminated from the competition on the July 21 episode (first-round submission due to a rear-naked choke) against Gilbert Urbina, who has since withdrawn from the middleweight final due to a knee injury he sustained after filming on this season wrapped.
Although neither man will be walking out with the credit of The Ultimate Fighter champion on his career resume after Saturday night, both of these men received a second chance at the UFC with this fight. The only question is who will make the most of it?
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, this battle of the debuting middleweights at UFC Vegas 35 looks to favor Andre Petroski, a former collegiate wrestler on the team at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, with Micheal Gillmore countering with a gold medal in the light contact karate competition (men aged 18-34 at less than 80 kg.) of the 2019 WKC World Championships.
Watch for Petroski’s Wrestling
Andre Petroski’s wrestling prowess was on full display in the first episode of TUF this season against Phillips, where he landed a takedown and assumed control of the fight after sprawling with him.
After taking side control, he softened Phillips up with a punch to the head and continued to apply pressure before finally sinking in that guillotine choke inside the round’s final minute. If Petroski can take Gillmore down early in this fight, it could be the opening he needs to get the victory.
Gillmore Can End This in a Hurry
In the other corner, watch out for Gillmore’s punches, because if they’re on-point as they were late in his amateur career against Adrian Sission, it could be lights out faster than you can pay the pizza delivery boy on Saturday night.
During that 2015 fight against Sission, Gillmore came out swinging and had him backed up against the cage fence within seconds due to his punches, nearly ending the fight right then and there, before landing a double-leg takedown and continuing the relentless onslaught.
After grappling with Sission in an attempt to get a submission, Gillmore opened up a cut on his opponent’s eye and finished him with a burst of ground and pound shots. All Micheal Gillmore is going to need here is as little as one takedown, because he can take control of the fight quickly.
This middleweight confrontation at UFC Vegas 35 is going to be predicated exclusively on which fighter establishes control of the contest first. The man who can get control before his opponent has a good chance of walking out of Las Vegas as your winner.
Prediction: Andre Petroski by First-Round Submission.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images