Nick Diaz academy protege Nick Maximov will be taking on Andre Petroski to open the card at UFC Vegas 54.

In a recent interview with LowKick MMA, Petroski had revealed that he asked the UFC to match him up against Maximov for his next fight. Going into the bout against an undefeated prospect, Petroski will be looking to hand Maximov the first loss of his career.

Speaking to the press during the UFC Vegas 54 media day, Petroski shut down the claim of Petroski asking for the fight.

“No, that’s cap. That’s a lie,” Maximov said. “I actually tried to fight him in LFA a year-and-a-half ago, he didn’t want it. Him and Tresean Gore, the same two people, because I’ve been trying to fight them last two years since COVID. Neither one of them wanted to fight because both of them had COVID during that same time frame. Yeah I’ve been wanting it.”

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Nick Maximov expects a finish

After being probed by the interviewer about why he picked Maximov, Petroski stated that he wants to prove himself as the best wrestler in the middleweight division. Backed by his collegiate wrestling experience, Petroski is likely the more grizzled competitor in the game in contrast to Maximov’s BJJ-heavy background.

“Oh we’ll see. Everyone says something and then Saturday rolls around and they’ve got a different answer for it. So we’ll see,” Maximov said. “I think it’s a finish. I think it’s a UFC fighter versus a regional fighter. He was trying to dog on the people I’ve fought and all of them have winning records.

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“The two dudes he’s fought in the UFC aren’t even here no more. Then before that he was still fighting people with negative records, and losing to people with negative records. I’m like, how are you trying to diss me when I’m fighting the top prospects already.

“You know what I’m saying? I think he’s just kind of delusional and I think it’s going to show.” (h/t Cageside)

Maximov is down to fight Khamzat

A video of teammate Nate Diaz and Nick Maximov has been doing rounds on the internet. After the brief back and forth between the younger Diaz and Chimaev, the two were discussing the Swede when Maximov expressed his willingness to take on Khamzat.

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“I’m down to fight Khamzat. I’m for real about that. Nate was still talking and I was just looking at him and for some reason the camera pointed at me. I was like ‘What the f*ck?’ It happens I guess,” Maximov said.

“Yeah I’m down to fight that fool though. I don’t know why everyone’s trippin’ so hard. I mean he’s a good fighter. Everyone in the UFC is good though. So I’m down with it.”

While it’s unlikely that Maximov will take on Khamzat anytime soon, he will need to dispatch Andre Petroski first if he is to get himself on the journey to being in the conversation.