2 Philly-area UFC fighters look to leave their mark in Atlantic City this weekend

Bill Algeo and Andre Petroski are both looking to break into the UFC rankings on Saturday at Boardwalk Hall.

MMA fighters Bill Algeo and Andre Petroski

MMA fighters Bill Algeo (left) and Andre Petroski (right) will represent the Philadelphia metro area during UFC Fight Night at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall this Saturday.

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On Saturday, at historic Boardwalk Hall, two MMA fighters from the Philadelphia area will look to showcase their skills for millions of people watching worldwide.

Delaware County native Bill Algeo, also known as “Señor Perfecto,” said he’s looking forward to putting on a show for all his friends and family, as well as students from his kickboxing school in King of Prussia. Before making it to the UFC, Algeo cut his teeth in the regional circuit, which included many fights in Atlantic City.

“I fought here… probably about 10 times throughout my career,” Algeo said. “This is just on the biggest stage. This is a dream come true, [to] happen to be this close to my friends and family so I can have a ton of them out here. My students, my people, everyone’s going to be just going crazy on Saturday.”

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The fight night will also serve as a homecoming of sorts for Philly-based middleweight Andre Petroski, who trains with Marquez MMA. Petroski’s first MMA fight took place in Atlantic City nearly a decade ago.

“It’s home, you know? The UFC doesn’t come here very often,” Petroski said. “So when they do, I take it on myself to show that they should come back.”

This is the UFC’s first time back at Boardwalk Hall since April 2018. Many legendary fighters have walked through the doors of the venue, including boxing world champions Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and George Foreman.

“I grew up watching boxing,” Algeo said. “We would all watch boxing growing up… watch Tyson in Atlantic City and Roy Jones [Jr.]. It’s crazy that I get to be in the same building and do the same things as my heroes growing up.”

Emerging victorious from Boardwalk Hall would provide a big boost for Petroski, who’s looking to get back in the win column. His road to the UFC took some twists and turns, including fighting an addiction to heroin which he overcame after seeking treatment.

“I was getting high when I was fighting as an amateur, right, and I was like 7-1,” Petroski said. “I had a bright future and a good career, but at the end of the day, I needed help. It took catastrophic events for me to not only get the help that I needed but also be willing to accept the help, like be willing to do whatever it takes.”

Now fighting for a shot to be in the UFC middleweight rankings, Petroski said he’s proud to have stayed close to home and helped the city become an MMA destination for fighters around the world.

“For the first time, in Philly, we have guys coming from other countries to pursue a career, like Nursulton [Ruziboev], who’s fighting on this card,” Petroski said. “We have the best wrestling, so we have great feeder programs and we get great wrestlers. Philly’s a great city for boxing, we have tough kids, we have everything.”

Algeo’s looking to break into the featherweight rankings, and Saturday night marks a full circle for his career.

“I’ve had a ton of fights here,” Algeo said. “I’ve lost here. I’ve won here. I’ve thought about retiring after losing fights here, and now I’m fighting on the biggest stage in the world with millions of people watching. It’s just a testament of not giving up and continuing your path.”

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The prelims for UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City start at 7 p.m. and will air on ESPN 2 and ESPN+. The main card starts at 10 p.m. and will air on ESPN and ESPN+. The main event will feature No. 2 and No. 3 ranked women’s flyweights Erin Blanchfield and Manon Fiorot.

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