UFC Vegas 62: Jacob Malkoun Claims Decision Over Wounded Nick Maximov

Jacob Malkoun and Nick Maximov, UFC Vegas 62
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 15: (R-L) Jacob Malkoun of Australia punches Nick Maximov in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 15, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The Diaz Army was represented at UFC Vegas 62 on Saturday, with Nick Maximov looking to bounce back from his first career loss in a middleweight fight against Jacob Malkoun.

With two grapplers squaring off, it was a fist-fight early in the preliminary card bout.

Maximov found success from the outset, rocking Malkoun, who dropped to his knees and bailed out of a bad spot by grabbing a leg. They’d settle down a bit after that, with Malkoun leading, Maximov moving and countering, working his jab. Near the midway mark of the round, Malkoun changed levels for a takedown, briefly putting Maximov on his back. That wouldn’t last, but he kept the pressure up with a body lock, landing a mat return, then dragging Maximov down again moments later. Maximov was warned for a blatant fence grab, and was soon back on his feet.

Malkoun was walking Maximov down in the final two minutes of the opening frame, landing a number of strikes. Maximov fanned on a haymaker, and Malkoun continued to connect up top at a more measured pace. Another brief takedown was landed by Malkoun in the final minute; Maximov appeared labored, but landed a left hook in the dying seconds of the round that seemed to get Malkoun’s attention.

Between rounds, Maximov appeared to indicate an issue with his right leg, and had ice applied to his knee. Once action got back underway, Maximov jabbed to the body, while Malkoun closed the distance to land another takedown. This time, Maximov accepted the position, closing his guard with over four minutes still on the clock. Maximov worked from his back while eating punches to the body; he spent a good deal of time there, but with just under two minutes remaining it was back to the feet. Either way, Maximov was losing the fight in both positions thanks to his compromised leg, which was clearly hampering his movement.

Malkoun, meanwhile, landed a hard right hand, ripped the body, and fired a jab. Maximov continued to circle along the fence, Malkoun simply stalking him. Another heavy right hand landed to the body for Malkoun.

Entering the third round, there was real question as to whether Nick Maximov could continue. The cageside physician appeared to have the same question, but Maximov got a chance to fight on. Malkoun, meanwhile, immediately landed a takedown. Maximov, in answer, pulled his leg high across Malkoun’s neck, perhaps setting up a triangle, while he kicked the back with his other leg — drawing a warning as the heel landed near the spine. The pair would then return to the feet, with Maximov firing a kick with the injured leg. He then grabbed an arm, but Malkoun broke free; Maximov landed a left-right combo after that.

At the midway mark of the third, Malkoun landed another takedown. Maximov trapped a leg, but Malkoun was undeterred, landing several elbows. Maximov regained full guard, but between the sweat, an injured leg, and an active Jacob Malkoun on top of him, Maximov couldn’t find a submission off his back. With just over a minute to go, he returned to the feet, landing a couple of times before being taken back down once again. They’d ride out the round there, and there was no question as to the winner.

Official Result: Jacob Malkoun def. Nick Maximov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)