Maksym Nikitin was born on 5 October 1994 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Around 2012, he enrolled at the Kharkiv State Academy of Physical Culture, where he is a correspondence student.
Nikitin was a recreational single skater in his early years. Around 2004, Halyna Churilova encouraged him and Oleksandra Nazarova, also a single skater from Kharkiv, to form an ice dancing partnership. Churilova coached the team in their hometown.
Nazarova/Nikitin debuted on the ISU Junior Grand Prix series in 2010. They placed 11th in Graz, Austria and 7th in Sheffield, England.
In 2011–12, they made no appearances on the JGP series but were sent to the Youth Olympics in January 2012 in Innsbruck, Austria. They won the silver medal behind Russia's Anna Yanovskaya / Sergey Mozgov.
Nazarova/Nikitin placed 5th at both of their 2012–13 JGP events and were assigned to their first World Junior Championships. At the latter competition, held in late February and early March 2013 in Milan, Italy, the duo placed 12th in the short dance, 9th in the free dance, and 11th overall. After the event, Churilova advised them to join Russian coach Alexander Zhulin. They relocated to Moscow to train with Zhulin and Oleg Volkov.
Nazarova/Nikitin won silver at both of their 2013–14 JGP assignments and qualified for the JGP Final. They placed fifth at the Final, held in December 2013 in Fukuoka, Japan. In March 2014, they finished fifth at the World Junior Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, having ranked seventh in the short dance and fourth in the free dance.
Nazarova/Nikitin continued training in Moscow in the 2014–15 season. At the Junior Grand Prix event in Courchevel, France, they ranked fifth in the short dance and third in the free dance. The duo finished fourth overall, 0.54 shy of third place. They won the bronze medal at their next JGP event, in Tallinn, Estonia, after placing sixth in the short and third in the free dance.
Making their senior international debut, Nazarova/Nikitin won the silver medal at the Warsaw Cup, a Challenger Series event in November 2014. After winning the Ukrainian senior national title, they were named in Ukraine's team to the European Championships, held in late January 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden. Ranked 12th in the short dance and 11th in the free dance, the two finished 11th overall.
In early March, the two competed at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. They were awarded the bronze medal after placing fifth in the short dance, second in the free dance, and third overall behind Anna Yanovskaya / Sergey Mozgov of Russia and Lorraine McNamara / Quinn Carpenter of the United States. It was Ukraine's first podium finish at the event since 2000. At the end of the same month, Nazarova/Nikitin competed on the senior level at the 2015 World Championships in Shanghai, China; they ranked 17th in both segments and overall.
Making their Grand Prix debut, Nazarova/Nikitin finished 7th at the 2015 Skate America. They withdrew from the Ukrainian Championships due to Nazarova's knee injury. The duo returned to competition in late March 2016 at the World Championships in Boston. Ranked 20th in the short dance, they narrowly qualified for the free dance where they placed 18th, resulting in a final placement of 19th.
Deciding to change coaches, Nazarova/Nikitin joined Igor Shpilband and Fabian Bourzat in Novi, Michigan in late June 2016.
Nazarova/Nikitin opened their season with a bronze medal at the International Cup of Nice. They finished 7th at their Grand Prix assignment, the 2016 Trophée de France, and 9th at the 2017 European Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
In February, they received the gold medal at the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In March, they placed 15th at the 2017 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Due to their result, Ukraine qualified a spot in the ice dancing event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
GP: Grand Prix; CS: Challenger Series; JGP: Junior Grand Prix