Nate Maness to win not for revenge but to earn back respect vs tutelage of Khabib Nurmagomedov in UFC Fight Night 214

Nate Maness, the American mixed martial artist, decided it was time to make a change after four fights in the UFC’s bantamweight division, dropping down to the flyweight class for the first time in his career, where he will battle Tagir Ulanbekov to reclaim his respect.

Even though Maness managed to win his first three UFC fights at bantamweight, Maness believes it makes sense to switch to a lighter division because he was getting lighter with each fight week.

Maness’ (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC)  four-bout victory streak was interrupted in his most recent fight, a unanimous decision loss against Umar Nurmagomedov. On Saturday, he will face another Khabib Nurmagomedov product, Ulanbekov (13-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC), who will also be seeking to get back into the win column. 

“All those guys are super nice to me, I wouldn’t say revenge,” Maness told in an interview. “But I definitely want to have a better and stronger performance and get some respect back.”

After two years with four fights in the UFC, the 31-year-old is finally comfortable with the process and has adapted to dealing with everything that comes with competing on the sport’s largest stage.

Ulanbekov was just recently demoted from the rankings, but he has already sparred with previous title challenger and Top 15 regular Elliott. In addition, he (Ulanbekov) works with UFC Hall of Famer and potential Coach of the Year candidate Khabib Nurmagomedov, which raises his profile automatically.

Maness is aware that a strong performance this weekend in his divisional debut might help him establish himself right away and possibly pave the way for a swift rise in the rankings.


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