It’s your main event of the evening.
Canada’s Aaron Jeffery (8-2) heads south of the border once again to take on the United States’ undefeated Andre Petroski (5-0) in a middleweight bout at LFA 93 in Park City, KS on Friday night.
Jeffery, 27, a Contender Series veteran, said he views this fight and LFA main event as the perfect opportunity to put himself in a position, once again, to earn that UFC call.
“If I understood my manager correctly, what they wanted was for me to fight an LFA main event. It’s a big stage on UFC Fight Pass, and this is kind of my shot,” said Jeffery in an interview with MMA Empire.
“Unless it’s a total snooze fest, if I can go out there and put on a good performance and get a finish, then fingers crossed.”
Having fought his entire professional career, so far, under the Art of War Cage Fighting banner, this main event slot is set to be Petroski’s biggest stage of his career.
Petroski, 29, said when he first learned of the fight from his management team, Iridium Sports Agency, he said the main event slot was something he asked his manager for.
“If you want to make an impact in this sport, you have to be pushing for co-main or main event for every fight,” said Petroski in an interview with MMA Empire.
“When my manager offered me this fight, the first thing I said was ‘get me the main event.’ I think it’s important.”
Jeffery coming in hot
Jeffery is fresh off a third round TKO victory over Bruno Assis in the main event of SFT 23 back in August.
With that fight being nearly one year after his previous fight, Jeffery said he had to shake off a little bit of cage rust to start the fight off, a factor he won’t have to worry about this time around.
“I was a little slow to get started. I kind of gave away the first round, and even the second round was a bit slow for me,” said Jeffery.
“Coming into this fight, I’m just going to feel a little more comfortable and have no ring rust to shake off.”
Despite being just 10 fights into his professional career, Jeffery is no stranger to tough competition, having shared the cage with current UFC fighters Brendan Allen and Sean Brady, as well as Assis, and Jo Vallee.
Jeffery said he believes the quality of competition he’s faced so far in his career compared to who Petroski has faced will play a significant role in the fight.
“The competition is the biggest thing. My 10 fights versus his five fights isn’t a big thing, but with regards to the pro MMA record, he’s fought all guys with not a lot of fights,” said Jeffery.
“I’ve fought two guys who are standouts in the UFC right now. I know I lost to both of them, but I went to a decision with Sean Brady, and I felt good in the Brendan Allen fight until I got caught. It’s going to be different for him to fight someone of my calibre.”
With six of his eight wins coming courtesy of his striking, Jeffery has displayed a strong prowess in the stand-up department.
Jeffery said he knows he will have an advantage on the feet, but said he’s also not afraid to wrestle, despite knowing the ground is where Petroski has found the most success in his career.
“He looks like a strong grappler, but his striking looks kind of green. He looks uncomfortable on his feet, and I expect him to be shooting and wrestling hard from the get-go,” said Jeffery.
“I’ve been training with Chris Prickett, who’s an olympic-calibre wrestler, and the Brock University team, which is the best team in Canada, so I’m not afraid to wrestle either, if I have to.”
Petroski boasts strong wrestling pedigree
So far in his career, Petroski has yet to go past the second round, largely due to using his strong wrestling and grappling to setup his stoppages.
Petroski said he’s well aware of the threat Jeffery poses in the striking department, but doesn’t believe he can compete with him on the ground.
“He’s got good, clean, crisp boxing, and he’s good when he moves forward,” said Petroski.
“He’s a tough kid, but I don’t think he has the pedigree on the ground to compete with me. It’s kind of your classic grappler versus striker matchup, and I’m really excited for it.”
Petroski made the move to Colorado for this training camp to work with the elite team at Factory X, led by Marc Montoya.
Petroski said his time at Factory X was a great learning experience, and one that offered no shortcuts or off-days.
“I’m definitely getting humbled in the gym every day. We got a few UFC fighters at my weight, the weight above me, and the weight below me,” said Petroski.
“You never get a break; the training’s tough. Even if you have a good first round and you’re feeling good, you have another killer coming in for your next round.”
Petroski is preparing for the toughest test of his career in Jeffery, and his first step up into the elite-level competition.
With his record and at this stage of his career, Petroski said he’s ready to take that next step up in competition.
“There’s definitely no easy fights from here on out,” said Petroski.
“Whether my next fight is in the UFC or not, you don’t really get easy fights when you’re 5-0. It’s a little step up in competition for sure, but the matchup is great. I think his style is perfect for mine.”
“Shoutout to Parabellum MMA, Niagara Top Team, my coaches, training partners, friends, and family.” Follow Jeffery on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM
“Shoutout for all the support from Factory X, all my sponsors, and my family.” Follow Petroski on social media: INSTAGRAM