LAS VEGAS —Nasrat Haqparast may be drawing a newcomer, but that doesn’t mean he’s looking past him.
Haqparast (11-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) faces Alex Munoz Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 32, which takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
After scoring three-straight wins over Thibault Gouti, Marc Diakiese, and Joaquim Silva, Haqparast saw his momentum take a hit when he was stopped by Drew Dober in the first round at UFC 246.
It sent the highly-touted 24-year-old back to the drawing board, but he said he’s approaching his fight with Munoz (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) the same way he does every other bout.
“I think everybody who’s in the UFC deserves to be there, so he’s gonna be a good fighter,” Haqparast told reporters at the UFC on ESPN+ 32 virtual media day Thursday. “Everybody’s good. Nowadays you don’t know what to expect, I just prepare for everybody like it’s the best opponent of my life, it’s the last day of my life, it’s the fight of my life, so I take everybody serious. It doesn’t matter if they have one fight or 10 fights or no fights in the UFC, so I’m very prepared.”
Haqparast spent some of his training camp in Rabat, Morocco, where fighters often travel to join brothers Ottman and Abu Azaitar, who set up camp there for a good portion of the year.
“We had a very good training camp,” said Haqparast. “We went to Morocco, my friends the Azaitar brothers, they’re also in the UFC, Ottman Azaitar, Abu Azaitar. They made a very good training camp with high-level fighters, Mark Madsen, Ismail Naurdiev, my brother Ottman Azaitar, Abu Azaitar, world-class kickboxers, champion from ONE FC and we had a very strong group of some jiu-jitsu black belts, some Olympic-level wrestlers. We had a good few weeks there and it was an amazing time.”
UFC on ESPN+32 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streams on ESPN+.