Jalin Turner is not afraid of a challenge. The lightweight contender accepted a short-notice fight against Mateusz Gamrot, one of the best grapplers in the division, at UFC 285 this Saturday.
Turner was originally scheduled to face Dan Hooker, but Hooker withdrew due to a hand injury. Instead of waiting for another opponent, Turner agreed to step up and face Gamrot, who is ranked #7 in the UFC lightweight rankings.
“I just wanted to stay on the card. I want to fight, you know? And then at the same time, I was like, who better to attempt to test my grappling accolades against than Gamrot?” Turner told CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri.
Gamrot is a former two-division champion in KSW, a Polish MMA promotion. He is known for his relentless pressure and wrestling skills and has secured victories against Arman Tsarukyan, Carlos Diego Ferreira, and Jeremy Stephens in the UFC.
Turner admits that taking Gamrot on short notice is not the wisest decision, but he is confident in his abilities and his goals.
“I mean, honestly, no, but I don’t look at it that way. I’m chasing greatness. So we’re going to see what we learn from this. Or if I get it all done how I anticipate the fight to go, we just go from there. And I just want to keep rising in the rankings anyway. So why not fight number seven instead of sitting back and waiting for somebody lower-ranked anyway?” Turner told Mahjouri.
Turner’s confidence comes from his striking prowess and his recent improvements in his grappling game. He has won three of his last five fights in the UFC by knockout or submission.
“I don’t fear any man that can bleed. We all bleed the same. I’ve always been that way. I’ve always prided myself on that. I just didn’t want to make a career of being that guy to fight whoever all the time. I want to be a champion. I have set goals.” Turner said.
Turner will have a chance to prove himself against Gamrot at UFC 285: Jones vs Gane, which will take place on March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena facility in Paradise, Nevada. The main event will feature Jon Jones making his heavyweight debut against Ciryl Gane for the UFC heavyweight title.
UFC 285 will be shown live on pay-per-view in the United States. Fans can order the ESPN+ PPV here to watch every fight live on Saturday night.