Makovsky hopes to find his seventh straight win on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
Duo to Meet in Bellator Bantamweight Finals this Thursday
After earning victories over Nick Mamalis and Bryan Goldsby, Zach Makovsky (11-2) finds himself competing in the Bellator Bantamweight Tournament Finals this Thursday at Bellator 32. Currently a winner of his past six fights and nine of his last 10, only Ed West (15-4) stands in the way of Makovsky for him to succeed in his mission of being crowned the first-ever Bellator Bantamweight Champion at the Power and Light District in Kansas City, Missouri.
“This is definitely the biggest fight of my career because of the amount of exposure combined with the financial opportunities,” Makovsky stated. “I'm actually trying really hard not to think about this fight in that way. I'm just thinking of this as another fight and another opponent. Whatever's going to happen is going to happen. This fight definitely has serious implications in regards to my career and my future. I'm just trying not to think about it too much. In the end, it's just a fight.”
With a Bellator Championship Belt on the line, Makovsky knows that a huge opportunity is now sitting in front of him.
“In the past, my only goal was to challenge myself in this sport and to continue to grow, and being the champion will allow me to test myself against the best guys and challenge myself constantly,” he said. “That's what I think will be the biggest part of being the champion for myself. I don't really compete for external rewards, I compete more for the internal rewards that challenging myself brings.”
A native of Philadelphia, Makovsky turned to professional MMA in 2006 and has fought in a few different shows, including a pair of matches in the now defunct Elite XC. The veteran fighter made his debut for Bellator in Hollywood, Florida, at Bellator 21, submitting Eric Luke with a second round kimura. Despite already having some impressive competition on his resume, Makovsky admits that West will likely provide him with his toughest battle to date.
“I think Ed is a great fighter. I think that he's the most well rounded guy that I have faced up to this point in my fighting career,” Makovsky remarked. “He presents a lot of challenges for me because he's good standing, and he's really good on the ground. I think he will be very similar to Bryan Goldsby, except when I get the fight to the ground, instead of just worrying about him not getting up, I also have to worry about him potentially finishing the fight. I think Ed is very dangerous from his back, unlike Goldsby. I also think that Ed is very intelligent as a fighter. I feel like he's going to be one of the most intelligent fighters that I will have fought, and that presents a challenge in itself.”
With a contrast in backgrounds, this bout will be very hard to predict in terms of how it will be fought, but Makovsky is confident that he will emerge victorious despite how the action rolls out.
“We kind of have opposing styles so I think it's going to be an interesting fight wherever it goes,” he commented. “It's hard to visualize how it will play out, but I think I can win the fight wherever it goes. I think I will be able to control where the fight takes place. If I want to take him down, I feel like I will be able to, whenever I want to. I also think I will be able to stop him from doing the same to me. But whether I take him down or keep the fight standing, he's dangerous everywhere, so we'll see what happens.”
The main card of Bellator 32 will kick off at 8:00 p.m. on Fox Sports Network, and the Bantamweight Championship is not the only title that will be decided on Thursday. In another big fight, Bellator will crown its first heavyweight champion when Cole Konrad (6-0) faces Neil Grove (9-2-1) in the Heavyweight Tournament Finals.