Nashville, TN – It might be a grappler’s delight at UFC Nashville when featherweight Gavin Tucker meets Diego Lopes in the octagon on Saturday night.
“I brought in a lot of high-level jiu jitsu guys. Not to sound disrespectful. Guys who are competing at ADCC level. Competitors that are solid all the ways through,” Tucker told reporters on Wednesday.
“I’m a Renzo Gracie black belt. I’m solid all the ways through.”
Jiu jitsu accolades aside Tucker isn’t afraid of going to the ground with Lopes. In fact he’s counting on it.
“Listen, we’re going to grapple. Him and I. We are going to grapple. I’m not shying away from trickiness. I’m built like a stump. We’re going to see what that looks like,” he said.
“The preparation has been the same way I always prepare. I always look at the positions, run the positions through camp, do what I always do as far as my process goes, and focus on my game.”
Lopes jumped in against Movsar Evloev on short notice at UFC 288 and actually put Evloev in trouble in a lot of positions. Submissions, sweeps, Lopes showed he can do it all, and Tucker isn’t surprised that fans are looking at their fight as one of the highlights on the card.
“His last performance. He came out and had a really good run against, I think Movsar is top 10 right now, so he had a good showing on short notice,” he said.
“He’s coming in to scrap. It’s going to be potential for this one to get outside of athletic competition, and just stop being a sport. Turn into an absolute mud fight. I know he’s there for it, it takes one to know one, so if it turns into that….that’s what people are probably excited for.”
Watch the entire media day scrum with Gavin Tucker above. He takes on Diego Lopes at UFC Nashville on Saturday night.