Antonio Trocoli is the UFC Vegas 92 fighter to watch

Antonio Trocoli is making his UFC debut versus Oumar Sy at UFC Vegas 92.
Antonio Trocoli
Antonio Trocoli / UFC

On Saturday, May 18, the UFC hosts its last event for the month, UFC Vegas 92, featuring a featherweight clash between veteran Edson Barboza and undefeated Lerone Murphy. The card is light on star power, with strawweight Angela Hill being the only other person with at least 20 Octagon fights to her name; but it more than makes up for that by being full of prospects who possess much promise.

One of those prospects is making his debut at this event. Antonio Trocoli has had quite the career before finally making it to the Octagon. After entering the sport in 2013, Trocoli was simply dominant in the first nine fights of his career, finishing the first seven of them consecutively. But in 2016, he dropped consecutive unanimous decisions against UFC veterans Jacob Volkmann and Dhiego Lima in the then-Legacy Fighting Championship, leading him to take a 15-month hiatus.

He would return to Brazil in July 2017, only to drop yet another unanimous decision in Jungle Fight. He was inactive for 15 months again afterward. But Trocoli would make the most of his second comeback from hiatus, winning two straight fights to get himself a berth on Dana White's Contender Series. He would face Kenneth Bergh, who was on a six-win streak, the last two in Cage Warriors.

That fight could not have gone any better. Despite breaking his foot on a missed body kick, Trocoli dominated Bergh before getting the win via neck crank in the first round. He got a UFC contract, and his future seemed assured.

Alas, it was not to be. Three weeks after the fight, he tested positive for nandrolone. He was immediately released and suspended for nine months, while his victory was redeclared a no-contest.

It would be more than two years before Trocoli fought again. Visa issues scrapped a planned May 2021 rematch with Bergh in Sweden, but he finally returned in November and won via rear-naked choke. Just over a year after that fight, he was re-signed by the UFC and pitted against Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 282.

Antonio Trocoli will fight Oumar Sy at UFC Vegas 92

Unfortunately, visa issues emerged again, and he had to withdraw. He was subsequently released from the promotion, while Saint Preux, who had previously lost two scheduled opponents, was pulled from the event entirely.

That did not stop either him or the UFC from looking for an opportunity to fight, though; and on Saturday, he will finally get his chance, barring another last-minute mishap. Coming in as a short-notice replacement for compatriot and fellow DWCS alum Rodolfo Bellato, he fights another newcomer in France's Oumar Sy.

Sy had a very unlucky start to his MMA career, having to endure three straight cancellations in the regional promotion 100% Fight before making his debut. But when he did, he made quite the impression, knocking out his opponent in the first round. He has since gone unbeaten, with six finishes in his next eight fights (five in the first round), and looks to cement himself as the newest member of a group of French contenders that includes Ciryl Gane, Manon Fiorot, Nassourdine Imavov, and Benoit Saint-Denis.

However, Trocoli is not one to let that happen easily. More than 11 years of toil, trouble, and redemption have brought him to this potentially life-changing moment; and he wants nothing more than to win and begin his own road to contendership in the ever-changing light heavyweight division.