24 October 2020 06:42
It has taken several years of grinding on the Australian professional MMA circuit but Sydney fighter - Jacob 'Mamba' Malkoun - will finally step into the UFC octagon this Sunday. In July, the middleweight fighter travelled over to Abu Dhabi as a potential fill-in fighter and also to help out his training partner Robert Whittaker who was fighting against Darren Till. Malkoun weighed in and prepared as though he would be fighting. He was even prepared to go up or down a weight division just to get a chance to fight in the UFC. However, after showing the UFC big wigs his level of dedication, he was offered a contract to fight for the company.
This Sunday, Malkoun will make his UFC debutant against US fighter Phil Hawes on Fight Island. But Sunday, he will be sharing the cage with his main training partner - Robert Whittaker. Malkoun says it has worked to their advantage by both of them fighting on the same night. "It's been great both having the fight camp together," Malkoun told 7NEWS.com.au "It's crazy, I used to always help him prepare for these big fights, and now I'm on it." Mamba says training with Whittaker has prepared him for this potentially daunting fight. He (Whittaker) went to the top of the sport training from where we are," The Sydney fighter explained.
The Sydney fighter says he was honoured to be signed to the UFC and was invigorated by the challenge. If you'd like to view this content, please adjust your Cookie Settings. "As soon as I got out of quarantine I went straight into training," Malkoun told 7NEWS.com.au "I knew I was fighting soon, so I started training extremely hard. "It was never if, it was when I was fighting in the UFC. Malkoun will face American fighter, Phil Hawes, on Sunday at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. Hawes has eight wins with two losses and trains out of the prestigious Hard Knocks 365 gym in Florida. (L-R) Opponents Jacob Malkoun and Phil Hawes face off. Hawes trains alongside UFC fighters such as Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns, Michael Chandler and Derek Brunson. Although Malkoun is wary of any opponent in the UFC, he believes he is ready for the threats Hawes possesses. "He's a pretty good striker and has power in his hands, but I'm ready for anyone," Malkoun told 7NEWS.com.au. Malkoun hasn't looked back since he began taking the sport seriously, and when he's not training, he's coaching others at the gym – which he believes has only helped his development.