Sporting an undefeated record as a pro boxer and a purple belt in BJJ, Malkoun prefers no particular aspect of MMA. He says he’s not worried he’s standing or on the canvas because everything serves a purpose.
“I’m a well-rounded fighter,” he says. “I’ll go wherever I want in a fight. I’m just gonna follow the path to victory, and that’s what I intend to do [at UFC 254]. “
Malkoun’s opponent, Phil “Megatron” Hawes, is also someone who prides themselves on his work ethic. And it cannot be denied that the strength, aggressiveness and dismantling of the American will be a test for “Mamba”.
“I know he’s tough and explosive,” notes Malkoun. “A good wrestler too. But this is the UFC – there are no easy fights here. I am ready for anyone they have.
Is he nervous to finally be on the big stage?
“You always have nerves before a fight. Maybe they’re a little worse now because I’m on an island and there isn’t much that I can do. You catch yourself thinking about it and time goes slower.
“Having said that, I think my friends and family back home might be more nervous and excited about all of this than I am.”
Malkoun admits he’s constantly learning as a fighter and maybe “just scratched the surface,” but it appears his immediate plan for UFC 254 is to follow his childhood idol Joe Frazier and continue to advance.
“I’m going to push hard and do whatever I need to do to win.
UFC 254 SPECIAL START HOURS:
Main card: 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT ESPN +
Preliminaries: 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT ESPN, ESPN +, and ESPN deported
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