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Jamie Mullarkey of Australia celebrates his TKO victory over Devonte Smith in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 02, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
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Jamie Mullarkey Is Looking To Put On A Show

Jamie Mullarkey And Jalin Turner Were Supposed To Fight In 2020, And Now That The Moment Is Finally Here, Mullarkey Is Aiming To Make A Statement At UFC 272.

2021 was a good year for Jamie Mullarkey. The explosive 155-pounder recorded two sensational knockout victories in the UFC and put the rest of the division on notice. But the humble Australian isn’t getting too high on his horse about the whole thing.

“I’m starting to feel comfortable in that Octagon, and it’s starting to really show with my performances,” explains the 27-year-old. “I’ve really learned from all of the hard fights I’ve had. I’d say I’m battle-tested.”

The last UFC outing for Mullarkey saw him survive a punishing first round against dangerous American Devonte Smith, then turn the fight around with a brutal barrage of punches, elbows and knees – eventually scoring a TKO, not to mention a Performance of The Night bonus.

Commentator Daniel Cormier was as surprised as anybody.

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“Holy cow, Jamie Mullarkey just melted him! He kept the pace, he kept the pressure on him. He stayed in his face and when the fight became ugly, became dirty…he got him out of there.”

Mullarkey insists that not only has he learned from the fights that have pushed him, the losses have taught him more than the wins – forcing him to come back better.

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“It’s made me who I am now. I’m starting to feel like I’m reaching that next level of performance. Getting my mind right has also been a big part of it. I don’t feel as nervous going into fight week anymore, because I know I’ve done it before...although it’s still a bit weird when Bruce Buffer calls out my name.”

Mullarkey normally trains under the guidance of UFC fighter-turned-coach Ross Pearson at Central Coast MMA, north of Sydney. But he’s been doing part of his camps at Freestyle MMA, home of UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski, south of Sydney in Wollongong. Freestyle MMA is becoming a hotbed of local talent.

Jamie Mullarkey of Australia reacts after his knockout victory over Khama Worthy in their lightweight fight during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Jamie Mullarkey of Australia reacts after his knockout victory over Khama Worthy in their lightweight fight during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Jamie Mullarkey of Australia reacts after his knockout victory over Khama Worthy in their lightweight fight during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“The energy is really good,” reports Mullarkey. “Joe Lopez is a tough trainer, and we have a lot of high-level guys coming through. We just had a few of the City Kickboxing guys [visit] last week. Everyone there is trying to improve and they push me hard. I think you can see from my performances that it’s paying off. I’m feeling really sharp and couldn’t ask for a better camp.”

And, of course, training with the best 145-pounder in the world definitely has its advantages. Mullarkey actually lost a title bout to Volkanovski on the Aussie MMA circuit back in 2016, but there’s never been any bad blood between the pair.

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“It’s unreal training with Alex. I’m always learning. He’s not just better than most guys, he’s the best on the planet – on a whole different level. Even though we fought once, there’s never been any animosity between us. It’s all business. He’s unbelievable, and I’m not at all surprised he’s reached the level he has.”

As for Mullarkey, Freestyle MMA’s head coach, Joe Lopez, can only see one problem…

Jamie Mullarkey TKOs Devonte Smith | UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Walker
Jamie Mullarkey TKOs Devonte Smith | UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Walker
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“He’s too tough for his own good! One camp, he was down here training with a broken hand! He just keeps on going, old Jamie,” says Lopez fondly. “He’s always improving. We have a good solid team who are about the same weight and they all push each other. Everybody can look good when they are fresh, but it’s how they perform when they are fatigued that matters. Jamie’s next fight will be hard, but he is a warrior and fight-fit. He will push hard for three rounds. I’m confident he’ll come back with the win.”

To do so, the Central Coast native will have to overcome versatile American Jalin “The Tarantula” Turner. Interestingly, the meeting was meant to take place long before UFC 272, so Mullarkey is glad the wait is finally over.

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“We were supposed to fight back in 2020, but I got injured,” he reveals. “So, we’ve sort of been circling each other. Now that it’s happening, I’m going to make the most of it.”

Turner also has plenty of momentum behind him in the UFC, thanks to a three-fight winning streak. Mullarkey certainly isn’t taking him lightly.

“Jalin’s a very skilful fighter,” he notes. “He’s a southpaw; long and rangy. He brings problems – but I’m not going to give him room. I’m going to dictate the pace and make it dirty. I see me finishing him later in the fight. I’m looking to put on a show.”

UFC 272: Covington vs Masvidal took place on Saturday, March 5, 2022, live from a sold out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. See the Final ResultsOfficial Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.