Nik Lentz and UFC Phoenix opponent Scott Holtzman have at least one thing in common.
The pair both picked up impressive stoppage victories at UFC 229 in their respective matchups back in October. But Lentz will be the first one to admit, when the matchup presented itself “The Carny” didn’t have a clue who he was facing.
“To be quite honest I had no idea who he was. I don’t mean that in a bad way because I’ve become a fan of MMA but I really don’t watch it that much.” Lentz told MMA News. “I watched his fights he’s very talented, very strong, very good guy. He’s older than me, but to me he’s still a kid in the game. I’m going to wreck him when we get in there.”
Lentz (29-9-2) has alternated between wins and losses in his last five fights and is coming off a highlight reel TKO win over Gray Maynard at UFC 229. Despite having a clear edge in experience, Holtzman told Fightful in a recent interview that Lentz is a gatekeeper in the division. The 34-year-old, as you could imagine didn’t take lightly to that comment.
“He can think what he wants, Gray [Maynard] said the same thing and he got a shin to the head. He still probably doesn’t remember that fight. For anyone to talk about gatekeepers, where has this kid come from? Stop it. I’m going to finish him. He’s going to come out and be aggressive. There’s no doubt he’s strong, there’s no doubt he’s a good striker. He’s never dealt with someone as talented [as me] He’s just not ready for what he signed up for. Check out my fight and see me knock this joker out. We’ll see who the real gatekeeper is.”
While Lentz is coming off a win in his last fight, the Hardknocks MMA product came up short in one battle late last year. Lentz had his Facebook account deleted after posting a video and picture of his most recent victory. While he has spoken to the UFC about it, Lentz isn’t optimistic he’ll get his account back.
“The craziest thing that’s been happening on social media is that I’ve been getting strikes and stuff for posting images of myself in the UFC. They deleted my Facebook account, they deleted the whole thing because of copyright issues. Because I posted a video of me knocking out Gray [Maynard] and they’re like ‘you can’t post this stuff’ it’s me, I’m in the damn UFC. It’s my picture, I did it. Because it’s like algorithm based. So there isn’t much I can do about it. I had my Facebook account deleted because of posting UFC stuff. I talked to [the UFC] but not much got done. I’ll restart it. Eventually I’ll go talk to him, the more important people. I’ll probably never get it back which is weird because I got Facebook back when you had to have a college email account. I was one of the original people.”
UFC on ESPN 1 takes place at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ. The main event features former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez against Francis Ngannou.