LAS VEGAS — Nick Maximov is making big strides in his fledgling MMA career.
The 24-year-old picked up his second UFC wini since securing a Contender Series contract from Dana White at UFC Fight Night 200 on Saturday. Maximov (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) maintained his undefeated record by edging out Punahele Soriano with a split decision in the co-main event.
It was Maximov’s first co-main event in the UFC in his second official fight with the promotion. But despite the big stage, he said there was no pressure or nervousness.
“No nerves at all,” Maximov told reporters at the UFC Fight Night 200 post-fight press conference. “We really train for this all the time. We train all the time. We have big events all the time, and they really help me a lot just to prepare for it.
“Actually, I was really comfortable. I was enjoying the moment.”
Maximov had a tough and tough back and forth against Soriano. Although Maximov was mostly on the attack, Soriano proved to be tough and resilient, always looking to take the lead and do damage on foot.
Maximov said he expected more from Soriano and attributed his high expectations to training with Nick and Nate Diaz.
“He felt good, but I expected a bit more,” Maximov said. “I train with killers all the time. I always expect people to be where Nate or Nick, Lucas (Gamaza), all these guys (are). They’re all killers.