In his highest profile fight since joining the UFC in 2019, the Central Coast’s Jamie Mullarkey (14-4, 2-2 UFC) will have his hands full when he meets rising prospect Jalin Turner (11-5, 4-2 UFC) to headline the prelims of UFC 272.
The pair were originally scheduled to meet in February 2020 at UFC Auckland, however Mullarkey had to withdraw from the fight with an injury. Fast forward two years and the pair will now finally get the opportunity to fight, with both having put together spectacular performances since.
Turner is currently riding a three-fight win streak, having won three fights via stoppage. Mullarkey on the other hand lost his next fight via decision against Fares Ziam, before having two dominant outings against Khama Worthy and Devonte Smith, finishing both via knockout.
In all, Mullarkey acknowledges that his UFC run has not come without some adversity. However, a change in fortunes has resulted in a feeling of belonging in the promotion.
“It feels like I am home now. It was a bit of a shaky start, but [we] got the feet under us and ready to keep the momentum going,” he told the media.
“Getting those first couple of UFC jitters and fights out of the way, I definitely feel like I am more comfortable and I am here to say.”
For Mullarkey, he sensed that this fight was inevitably going to happen at some point, despite the previous cancellation. Finally having the opportunity to meet a unique challenger in Turner excites the 27 year old.
“Jalin is tough, he brings different problems to the table. I’ve never fought someone quite as tall as him and as long, so that is going to be a different challenge that I am looking forward to,” Mullarkey said.
“I’ve been working a lot of different stuff, working different game planning and we will see what happens Saturday.”
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Turner is big-bodied for the 155-pound Lightweight division, having made his UFC debut at Welterweight, before dropping back down in weight. Known as ‘The Tarantula,’ he stands at 191cm and has a reach of 196cm offering a unique frame to combat.
Mullarkey, on the other hand, pales in comparison at 183cm tall and with a reach of 188cm.
The Central Coast native has leaned from the expertise of his coaches and training partners at Freestyle MMA, such as UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski, to help formulate a game plan and strategies to combat the height and reach disadvantage he will have.
“The biggest thing I took from this camp was working with Alex Volkanovski,” Mullarkey explained.
“Pretty much everyone he fights is taller than him, so he has helped me so much this camp and I am looking forward to trying out some new stuff.”
Mullarkey feels this weekend’s fight will come down to who has the most heart, but does admit he must keep his wits due to how dangerous Turner can be.
“I am looking to get my feet under me first. Jalin is a dangerous opponent, you can’t rush with a guy like him,” said Mullarkey.
“So we’ll find our feet and then I am sure the war is going to come and I think it is going to come down to who wants it more to be honest.”
With Turner having finished his opponents in all of his wins and Mullarkey having 13 stoppage victories to his name, MMA fans can expect an exciting, fast paced fight this weekend to headline the UFC 272 prelims.
UFC 271 goes down on Sunday 6 March and can be ordered via Kayo, here. The Prelims are set to take place at 12pm AEDT.
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