Las Vegas, NV — In just his second UFC fight, Nick Maximov was given co-main event billing at UFC Vegas 47.
That may be a statement as to where the UFC sees the middleweight prospect in terms of his development. Just as likely, they know he has that Diaz rub — Maximov trains with Nick and Nate Diaz, and has been billed as a protege of the Stockton brothers.
Through three rounds of a grinding affair on Saturday, Maximov at times fought like a Diaz, but for the most part, it was his wrestling that got the job done against Punahele Soriano.
Asked how the massive Soriano felt in the cage, Maximov told media outlets post-fight that “he felt good, but I was expecting a little more. I just train with killers all the time, so it’s like, I just always expect people to be at where Nate and Nick are, Randy [Spence], Lucas [Gamaza], all those guys. They’re all killers.”
As for Soriano’s wrestling defense, which looked good in the early going of the fight, “it was alright,” Maximov opined post-fight. “It was cool. I got a lot of takedowns, so I’ll just let that speak for itself.”
A lot of takesdowns actually turned out to be a middleweight single-fight record — 11, tying Maximov with Marvin Vettori. An impressive feat in just his second fight, but Maximov isn’t getting too caught up in the achievement. “Yeah it’s cool, [but] it’s just another number. We’re going to keep racking ’em up.”
Maximov did take credit for what appeared to be Punahele Soriano’s knee giving out in the third round. “I did that. I was kicking his knee, I was kneeing his knee on the cage,” he noted. “If you go watch, when I kneed his knee, he kept saying something. I kicked his knee, I was kneeing his knee, so I think that was all me.”
If there was anything negative to be said overall, it was perhaps the bout ending in a split decision. “I’m always trying to get the finish and get the kill, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do,” observed Maximov.
As for what’s next, the Nick Diaz Academy fighter is hoping to fight again soon. “It’s like a race against time right now. I want to keep going, and be at the top as soon as possible.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 47 post-fight press conference with Nick Maximov above. More coverage from the event can be found below.