February 5, 2022

Nicholas Maximov showed off toughness, resilience, and high level technical wrestling on Saturday night at UFC Vegas 47.  Maximov was up against Punahele Soriano and survived powerful strikes, while sticking to his grappling first strategy, which helped him remain undefeated.  It was Maximov's second UFC fight and his first appearance in a co-main event.

Maximov came out in the first round with overhand rights to set up takedown attempts, but Soriano defended them well.  Maximov maintained the pressure and kept forcing Soriano to guard against the attempts to take the fight to the mat.  Soriano made his power obvious early, landing some big punches, and a huge knee, “he caught me with a knee, props to him, he’s good,” said Maximov after the fight.  

Maximov refused to give up on his wrestling and finished the first round on Soriano’s back, hunting for a submission.  As the second round began Maximov knew exactly where he wanted the fight to take place, and both fighters put on a high level display of technical wrestling skills, as they scrambled to gain the advantage.  When they separated, Soriano landed heavy right and left hooks that gashed up Maximov’s already cut face, “blood kept going into my eye, I couldn’t see” said Maximov.  Soriano also punished Maximov’s body every chance he got, and used body punches while defending against takedowns.

Maximov launched into the third round with an impressive flying switch kick, and while it didn’t cause much damage, it showed Soriano that he has striking skills.  But Maximov quickly returned to his wrestling and completely dominated the third round by maintaining constant pressure and controlling Soriano with his wrestling.

As it went to the judges scorecards, it was unclear who would get the win, but Maximov did enough to earn a split-decision victory.  “He was exactly what I expected, I got nothing but respect for him.  I would have liked to get the finish but it’s all good, “ said Maximov.

Maximov is a member of the Nick Diaz Academy in Stockton, California and gave a shout out to the legendary UFC fighter.  You can support Maximov as he rises through the ranks of the UFC’s middleweight division by buying his merchandise.  You can also ask him anything, and he will respond with a personal video. 

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