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Ivana Petrovic poses for a portrait during a UFC photo session on June 28, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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Ivana Petrovic: ‘I’m Ready For War’

Flyweight Ivana Petrovic Makes UFC Debut Against Luana Carolina At UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov

The stacked UFC women’s flyweight division welcomes Ivana Petrovic this weekend at UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov, where the undefeated Petrovic will make her Octagon debut against Luana Carolina.

Only six fights into her career, Petrovic excelled across Europe, winning all six, five by finish, in less than two years. That impressive feat earned her a contract with the UFC, and she’s now only a day away from proving to fans why she belongs amongst the 125-pound elite.

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While Petrovic views her first fight week experience as almost surreal, she doesn’t want to get too emotional during the process so she can remain level-headed for the most essential part of this journey: the fight itself.

“It feels amazing,” Petrovic said. “I’m finally living out my dream to come to the UFC and I can’t wait to show everybody what I can do in the cage.

“I don’t want to be overexcited. I’m trying to not make this too big for me, even if it is big. I’m really hoping I’m going to be relaxed and calm like I always am in my fights.”

Petrovic’s vision to one day reach the UFC materialized at the start of her kickboxing career when she was 17 years old. Born in Germany, Petrovic didn’t live near an MMA gym, so she began developing her combat sports experience in kickboxing before moving to Norway to train MMA.

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Now, Petrovic believes she’s as dangerous on the feet as she is on the mat. Trained by her husband, Sasa, Petrovic has worked tirelessly to ensure all facets of her game are dangerous for any UFC opponent, and that she can dictate where the fight goes at all times.

“My fighting style is well-rounded,” Petrovic said. “I can wrestle with wrestlers and strike with strikers. I like to take my opponents down because I’m really good on the ground; I’m really heavy and that’s what I do, but if I need to strike, I can strike.

“My biggest motivator is my husband. He’s my coach, too. He also wanted me to be a good fighter, so he was helping me and stopped [his own] training and stopped his fighting so he could help me, so I’m really thankful I have him in my life.”

In her six previous fights, Petrovic studied her opponents to determine where she anticipates them taking the fight. If they were wrestlers, the fight camp would predominantly consist of wrestling and grappling work, and the same goes for preparation against a striker.

In the UFC, however, Petrovic understands that every athlete across all divisions is talented everywhere, so she took extra steps to sharpen all aspects of her game in case there were any surprises on fight night.

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“This fight camp, I trained everything,” Petrovic said. “Usually, I do one thing if a person is a striker, I do a lot of wrestling if the person is a wrestler, but this time I did everything. I had a hard camp but I’m really happy about it and I can’t wait to show that.”

Petrovic’s upcoming opponent, Luana Carolina, has five UFC fights to her name and is hoping to bounce back from consecutive defeats against Molly McCann and Joanne Wood. Regardless of the results, Petrovic is excited to enter the Octagon for the first time against someone who’s already established in the promotion.

“I think it’s a good test for my UFC debut,” Petrovic said. “Luana is a good striker so I can finally show my striking. She has five fights in the UFC, so it’s a good test, I think.”

While a win is the quintessential result all fighters are looking for, Petrovic hopes to make a splash in her debut and earn respect from UFC fans around the world and her potential competitors across the flyweight division.

“I hope [fans are] happy with the performance because I’m someone who wants to give a good performance to the audience,” Petrovic said. “After this fight, I hope everyone’s going to respect me as a fighter, too.

“Enjoy the show. I’m going to give a really good fight and I’m ready for war.”

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UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 1, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!