Jamie Mullarkey is preparing for the fight of his life on March 28. The native of New South Wales’ Central Coast faces hulking American Khama Worthy at UFC 260, and with an 0-2 mark in the Octagon, his back is firmly against the wall.
In fairness to Mullarkey, his record isn’t your ordinary 0-2 record. Having made his debut on short notice, a fight of the night war with Brad Riddell at UFC 243, the 26-year-old’s sophomore appearance at UFC Fight Island 6 ended in a controversial split decision loss to Fares Ziam.
None of the aforementioned facts are lost on Mullarkey himself. Speaking exclusively to Fight News Australia, he explained that even the UFC brass doesn’t consider him to be 0-2.
“I think I’m 1-1 in the UFC, I think most people that watched that last fight think I was pretty hard done by,” he said.
“I’ve talked to the UFC, Sean Shelby, and the matchmakers and they had me winning too. So, in my mind, I’ve had one loss in the UFC and it was a cracker of a fight on short notice, and I was edged out of a decision against a guy that was not really willing to engage in much of a fight. So, in my mind I’m good to go, it’s just another must-win fight.
Mullarkey (12-4) will get the chance to officially enter the win column at the UFC Apex against Worthy (16-7), the hard-hitting Pittsburgh native with a 2-1 record in the Octagon.
Worthy, Mullarkey believes, is the perfect stylistic matchup for him to record his maiden UFC win.
“I feel it’s a really good stylistic fight for me. I really do, I think styles make fights and it’s going to be fireworks. It’s definitely going to be a fan-friendly fight” he said.
“We’ve watched some tape and figured out a good gameplan to take at him. I sort of leave that stuff to Ross (coach Ross Pearson), he’s the brains of the operation, as I like to say. But we’ve sussed out a good gameplan to take him on.”
After his UFC debut, Mullarkey endured a disrupted 2020. A neck injury and subsequent surgery ruined the first half of the year, while the difficulties of training during the COVID-19 pandemic compromised his preparations in the second half of the year. 2021 however, has been much easier thus far. Mullarkey has mixed up his training between his head trainer, former UFC veteran Ross Pearson and Joe Lopez, the longtime trainer of UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
After a strong training camp, Mullarkey believes that he’s primed to put on a show at UFC 260.
“It’s been unreal, we’ve covered all aspects, left no stone unturned. I’ve been training with Alex [Volkanovski] pretty much my whole camp while going back and doing bits and pieces at home with Ross Pearson, my head coach. So, it’s been really good, I’m looking forward to going in there and I think it’s going to be the best version of me that walks into that Octagon.”
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The UFC has shown time and time again that anything can happen once that Octagon door closes.
This time around though, Mullarkey feels sure of two things: an exciting spectacle for the fans, and a victory at the end of it all.
“I see fireworks, I see that it’s going to be an exciting fight” he predicted.
“Man, I’m getting my hand raised, I know that much. I don’t know how it’s going to be yet, but I’m getting my hand raised on March 28th .”
And in an unforgiving business, where a 0-3 record leaves fighters in a precarious position, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Mullarkey believes that he is poised to rise to the occasion.
“I come to fight regardless of the situation and what’s going to come out of it. I think if anything, it’s going to make me dig that little bit deeper” he said.
“It’s important you know; I’m fighting for my life. My backs against the wall and it’s going to bring the best out of me.”
Note: Interview was conducted prior to the news breaking about Alex Volkanovski’s positive Covid-19 test.