Chepe Mariscal details relationship, ‘crazy’ sparring sessions with UFC BMF champion Justin Gaethje

LAS VEGAS – Chepe Mariscal credits “crazy” sparring sessions and a strong relationship with UFC BMF titleholder Justin Gaethje for elevating his game.

Mariscal (15-6 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has found success thus far in his UFC career through a few motivating factors. On the mental side, he will never forget the motivating words his now-deceased Mother gave him to keep pushing forward with his MMA career after a couple of losses in other promotions.

Physically, sparring with former UFC interim lightweight champion and current BMF Gaethje has helped him prepare at a high level.

“Oh, it’s crazy,” Mariscal told reporters at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 240 media day. “It’s a highlight in there. I’m surprised there’s no cameras in there, you know? Me and him do crazy stuff to each other. I’m not big on posting all that stuff, and that’s the thing: Guys like to post practice stuff.

“Like, anybody can win at practice. Anybody can look good on the mits. It’s like, can you perform? Can you fight? Can you actually be a fighter? I feel like seeing him in the room and then seeing him perform, I was like I could do the exact same thing or better.”

It’s not just exchanging punches with Gaethje that has helped Mariscal grow as a fighter, although that’s how things started. Since being around each other more, the pair have formed a bond, and Mariscal has leaned on Gaethje for career advice.

“Me and him at first were kind of like head on head, going against each other a little bit, and then we grew a great friendship where I see more of just ‘The Highlight,’ more of Gaethje, the outside guy,” Mariscal said. “He gave me more advice than any other fighter. Like how is it to be in the big show, or fight in the main event, or be the BMF titleholder.”

Mariscal returns to action at UFC Fight Night 240 at the UFC Apex to take on Morgan Charriere. It will be Mariscal’s first fight of the calendar year, and an opportunity to stretch his current winning streak to six.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 240.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie