LIVERPOOL, England – Jason Knight is not pleased with the conduct of Makwan Amirkhani ahead of their featherweight bout on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 130.
Although he’s relatively soft spoken, Amirkhani (13-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) can still cut deep with his words. Knight (20-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) caught wind of one of his opponent’s interviews ahead of UFC Fight Night 130, and he wasn’t at all happy with what he heard.
“He’s a little (expletive),” Knight told MMAjunkie. “He thinks he’s going to go out here and finish me in the first round? He’s not giving me no respect at all. The lady (interviewing) asked him, ‘What do you think about your opponent Jason Knight?’ He said, ‘When I think about Jason Knight, I just think that I’m going to kill him.’ He said, ‘That’s all there is to it.’ … He says, ‘I’m a better wrestler than him, I’m better than him on the ground, I’m better than him standing up. I’ll beat him wherever it goes.’
“Then at the end they asked him, ‘What’s your prediction for this fight?’ He said, ‘I’m going to punish him, I’m going make him bleed and mark my words, it will not go to a second round.’ So I promise you, I promise you one damn thing: If it don’t go to the second round, it’s not going to be because Jason Knight lost.”
UFC Fight Night 130 takes place Sunday at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Knight vs. Amirkhani airs on the FS1-television main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Although Knight doesn’t intend on taking action against Amirkhani until they’re locked in the octagon together, he said he wasn’t going to give a pass, either. He said he crossed paths with Amirkhani at the hotel during fight week, and he made sure to send him a message.
“I’ve seen him (Wednesday) out in the hallway and he says, ‘Man, you came a long way for one round,'” Knight said. “I said, ‘Nah, mother(expletive), I came a long way to shut your mouth.'”
With one of his nicknames being “Mississippi Mean,” it’s obvious Knight has a bit of an edge to him. However, he admits that Amirkhani’s boisterous attitude with regard to their fight has caused his emotions to stir more so than usual. He said those emotions will be in check by the time he steps in the cage, but he still plans on using Amirkhani’s comments as fuel.
“He got under my skid a little bit and I’m ready to go out here and just shut his mouth,” Knight said. “I just want to make him feel like a little (expletive); that’s the plan. I’m not going to get too excited and get out of my element, but I’m definitely going to try to go out there and hurt this guy.”
For Knight, UFC Fight Night 130 represents a particularly crucial time in his career. After rattling off four consecutive UFC wins, the 25-year-old is now in the midst of a two-fight slump for the first time in his career. He admitted the situation “sucks,” but said falling short against Ricardo Lamas and Gabriel Benitez is nothing to be ashamed of, especially since he claims to have had strep throat for the latter defeat.
Knight has turned the page, though, and said all his focus is on Amirkhani. He said he would happily put “Mr. Finland” away in short order, but after all the pre-fight talk, he said he’d actually prefer to drag the bout into deep waters and punish his opponent.
“Perfect world we go out here and we fight a long-ass fight,” Knight said. “That’s what I want to do. I didn’t go to the other side of the world to tap this guy in the first round. I would love to do that. If he takes me down and falls into a submission, great. But the way I see it, I would love to go out here and I would love to fight all three rounds and I’d love to get my hand raised at the end with the unanimous-decision victory. That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to get out here, grit my teeth, bang it out and fight to the bitter end.”
For more on UFC Fight Night 130, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.