UFC 266: Nick Maximov Is Moving Past Roberson Match-Up

Las Vegas, NV — There was plenty of hype surrounding Nick Maximov’s octagon debut at UFC 266, and in the end, the protege of Nick Diaz lived up to it.

Maximov (7-0) earned a unanimous decision victory against Cody Brundage on Saturday — an opponent who stepped up after Karl Roberson withdrew from the fight earlier in the week.

“It was good. Having an opponent change, it was good to get someone to actually step up and fight,” Maximov said following the fight, speaking to reporters including Cageside Press. “My original guy got hurt or something on like Wednesday, so it was good to come here and fight.”

Asked if there was any fear that he wouldn’t get a replacement opponent, Maximov replied saying “I want to say there wasn’t a fear of not getting anyone, because I think anyone would step up on this type of card and fight no matter what. I wouldn’t say there was a fear.”

Luckily for him, Maximov didn’t spend a ton of time studying Karl Roberson anyway. “I don’t really watch tape, because you look at the guy that dropped out Wednesday: you watch a bunch of tape and then they drop out, it screws with your head.”

Throughout fight week, much was made about Maximov’s link to the returning Nick Diaz. Throughout his fight, they showed clips of Nate Diaz cheering in the stands; that seemed to get the crowd going as well.

“I felt it and it’s cool, because it’s definitely like an army and whatnot,” Maximov said of the love being shown. “I don’t rely on that or anything, but you feel it. It’s kind of like a second man. They say there’s a 12th man in football or whatever, it definitely feels like there’s a second person in there.”

Maximov also got to train more with Nick ahead of the fight. While in the past, Diaz was around the gym “here and there,” for UFC 266 “I learned a lot from him, sparred a lot with him for the last two, three months,” Maximov revealed. “Went out to L.A., trained with some good boxers out there and stuff with him. He’s been around a little bit, yeah.”

With his first UFC win under his belt, it’s tempting to look to Roberson as Nick Maximov’s next match-up. That ship appears to have sailed however.

“Nah, cause I was supposed to fight Karl in July, but he declined. And then I was supposed to fight him again. So it’s like, I’m not even going to mention that dude anymore,” said Maximov. “Whatever happens with him, hope for the best, but I don’t have any names or anything. Gotta respect the game and kind of just go up the ladder like that, so whoever they offer is who I’m going to take.”

Watch the full UFC 266 post-fight press scrum with Nick Maximov above. More coverage of the event can be found below.