Las Vegas, NV — Bantamweight Nate Maness fully understands why his opponent is getting all the attention, and the lion’s share of the betting action, ahead of this weekend’s UFC Vegas 57.
Sure, it’s a little disrespectful, but Maness (14-1) understands the name Nurmagomedov is an attraction. He’s been paired up with Umar Nurmagomedov, a cousin of former lightweight champ Khabib, this Saturday.
“He’s great, I don’t think anybody can watch him and say that he’s not great,” Maness told media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s media day. “The odds are a little bit disrespectful to my side I think, just because of that last name. I’m coming to fight. He’s great, but these are the fights that I want. If you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, they only get harder and you only fight better guys.”
Like many of us, Maness was hyped up when he learned of the match-up. “Aww man I was excited. I know he’s ranked 18, something like that so it’s a big jump ahead of where I am. If you’re doing what you’re’ supposed to be doing, the fights only get harder, so I’m excited about it.”
Nurmagomedov, who is undefeated, should be a solid test. If Maness passes, he knows exactly who he wants next: Adrian Yanez. The pair have been calling each other out for a while now.
“I think he looks good every fight. I’m a fan,” Maness said of his would-be opponent. “I love to watch him fight, I like his style, I think he’ll stand right in the middle with me, and we’ll put on a show.”
“Obviously Umar first, but yeah, I called him out a long time ago, we went back and forth for a year and a half now, yeah. Let’s do it.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 57 media day press scrum with Nate Maness above.