Fast-rising fighter Nick Gehrts (4-2) has already had a taste of what stardom in mixed martial arts looks like, as the video for his flying knee knockout over Augusta Tindall went viral last year and eventually was shown on AXS TV’s “Inside MMA.”
Gehrts, who trains at Knoxville MMA, said he still gets comments from friends and fans to this day whenever a flying knee happens in the sport.
Still just 20 years old, the Tennessee native will headline Valor Fights 30 this weekend in a lightweight bout against Steve Haag (1-0) at The International in Knoxville. Gehrts thinks he matches up well with Haag.
“I think it’s great,” Gehrts said in an interview with James Lynch on The Parting Shot (posted below). “He has really good jiu-jitsu, and I’ve got solid jiu-jitsu as well. Jiu-jitsu is my game, that’s an early Chrismas present if anybody tries to go to the ground with me, I have excellent defense and offense from it.”
Haag has already shown off his ground game, as he submitted Nick Collins with an omoplata to win his pro debut at Valor Fights 26. But wherever the fight goes, Gehrts feels confident.
“My striking is one thing that really hasn’t been seen much and after the Tindall fight when I knocked Augusta out with a flying knee, people were like, ‘Oh shit, this guy can strike too.'”
With six fights already as a pro, Gehrts also feels like he has an experience advantage over the Georgia native.
“I think it matches up well,” Gehrts said. “I think he’s still an amateur. You know, he had a couple amateur fights and he fought a bunch of guys that it was their debut. He never fought anybody who had a record that was solid. I’ve fought a lot of tough guys, and I’ve fought a lot of guys who had a lot of fights.”
Showing the confidence and swagger of a guy that is to be expected by a fighter who lists Conor McGregor as one of his favorite fighters, Gehrts has a prediction for the fight as well.
“I cut down a lot of trees in my past,” Gehrts said. “Find the angle, work the lines, and I see him dropping like a tree. If it goes to the ground, I see me submitting him. If he pulls guard, that’s fine with me.”
Check out Gehrts’ full interview with Lynch below.