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UFC 272: Israel Adesanya’s Aussie ‘sleeper’ Jamie Mullarkey whacks rival

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Australia’s Jamie Mullarkey may have caught the eye of Israel Adesanya, but he still can’t get any respect from his UFC 272 opponent.

Jamie Mullarkey stands accused of relying on his toughness to win fights.

Which put another way, is to suggest this rising Central Coast lightweight takes far too many thwacks to the face in search of a win.

In recent days, that has been the claim of American Jalin Turner.

That hyped Californian native who, with a tarantula collection that numbers in the hundreds, and on a run of three straight wins, now faces Mullarkey on a blockbuster UFC 272 card in Las Vegas this Sunday.

As far as undercard showdowns go, Mullarkey versus Turner is a cracker.

With even UFC superstar Israel Adesanya recently outing it as this Sunday’s “sleeper” fight.

Watch UFC 272: Covington vs. Masvidal LIVE on Main Event available on Kayo & Foxtel, Sunday 6th March from 2pm AEDT. ORDER NOW >

Better, in his last week before heading Stateside, Mullarkey also worked closely with Adesanya’s renowned City Kickboxing coach Mike Angove – who travelled across the ditch to help train several fighters at the Windang gym of UFC featherweight champ Alex Volkanovski.

Arriving to the UFC in 2019, Mullarkey initially dropped his first two fights before then rallying in spectacular form to score consecutive KO victories – one of which, against Khama Worthy, arrived in just 46 seconds.

So now in the biggest fight of his growing career, what does he make of Turner’s sledge?

“It’s not true,” Mullarkey said this week from his base in Las Vegas.

“Obviously he means exactly what he says; that I rely on toughness to get me through fights. That I don’t mind getting hit.

“And just like Jalin is a game fighter who comes to finish, so am I.

“But I also look at this game very technically. Work a lot on not getting hit.”

Importantly, Mullarkey also has a theory for what has inspired Turner’s sledge.

“I think it’s a sign of fear on his part,” he said.

Fear?

“He’s scared that I’m going to bring this war to him,” the Central Coast fighter continued. “And I’m not sure he knows if he’s ready for it.

“I know I’m ready for war.

“Because we’ve seen it.

“When a war comes to me, we go. I’m in there.

“So maybe that’s a little bit of fear in the back of his mind. He doesn’t want that gritty war that I’m more than happy to invite.”

Apart from going undefeated in his past two fights, Mullarkey has also become a close training partner of Volkanovski and travels regularly to the UFC champion’s southern Sydney gym run by head coach Joe Lopez.

Asked about his work with Angove, he said: “We got a lot of stuff done.

“Mike’s given me a lot of great tips about how to work against a longer, rangy fighter.”

So as for now scoring a third straight KO on Sunday’s UFC 272 blockbuster headlined by Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal?

“The way I’ve fought my whole career, I’ve been a finisher,” Mullarkey said.

“So I’m looking to knock this guy out.

“But as far as which round, how long it takes … I’m going to take my time.

“It’s actually something I’ve spoken recently with my coach (Ross Pearson) about. Getting used to not rushing.

“When you rush, things get forced.

“So I’m going in there to take my time, pick my shots and finish this fight.”

Despite disagreeing with Turner’s fight-week sledge, Mullarkey insisted it would have no impact on the way he prepared for Sunday’s showdown.

“For me, there are no (personal) feelings involved,” the Australian stressed. “But he is in my way — so I need to get rid of him.”

Originally published as UFC 272: Israel Adesanya’s Aussie ‘sleeper’ Jamie Mullarkey whacks rival



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