After losing his opponent for a light heavyweight bout on the final Contender Series event of 2020, Nick Maximov opted to bump up to heavyweight for his opportunity to earn a shot to compete for the UFC.
Maximov, a protege of Nick and Nate Diaz, will face Oscar Cota (11-2) at Tuesday’s DWCS Season 4: Week 10 event at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The 22-year-old has finished all five of his professional bouts and has yet to see a third round. Despite a year mired with wildfires in California, as well as a global pandemic, Maximov has picked up submission wins for KOTC and LFA, along with four appearances for Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground promotion.
At Monday’s weigh-ins, Cota tipped the scales at 263.5, while Maximov was on the lower side of the division at 209 pounds—a difference of 54.5 pounds.
Ahead of his opportunity to compete in front of Dana White and the UFC matchmakers, Maximov spoke with MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck to discuss the matchup with Cota and how the fight came to be, bumping up to heavyweight for the first, and only time, the relationship he has with Nick and Nate Diaz, if he believes the brothers will fight in 2021, how he sees the fight playing out, feeling he may actually be a middleweight, eyeing a potential matchup with William Knight should he earn a contract, and more.