The world of MMA is scattered with great people and elite fighters but it is rare to find them put together. Here at ArtofMMA.com we do our best to find you those people and bring you their story, today is no different! It was an honor and a privilege to get to speak with our next guest as he is a former champion and looking to get that strap back. He is none other than Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky! That name should ring a bell as he is the former Bellator Season 3 Bantamweight Tournament winner and champion! Make sure to follow this warrior and all around great guy on Twitter @Zachfunsize. His birthday is Friday so make sure to send some positive messages his way. So let’s get down to business and let you meet the man known as “Fun Size”.
Hey Zach how’s it going? Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us. I know you are getting ready for your next fight. Can you take a minute and talk to us about what got you into the world of MMA.
Makovsky: Thanks for having me guys! I have always been a fan of the UFC and MMA, watching all the old UFC’s on tape and growing up a wrestler helped. I am also a big fan of Bruce Lee so that set the path haha. But I started wrestling young then went to Drexel University to wrestle and there we had an MMA fighter come in and work with us there while he was training for a fight. I thought the stuff he was doing was pretty cool and I asked him if I could come train with him in the off-season. He said sure and next thing I know I am at the Philadelphia Fight Factory training in the off-season. Not long after that I set up an amateur fight and I was hooked.
Wow, there is a story we don’t hear all the time! It usually involves a friend or getting your butt handed to you are at a tryout session so that is pretty cool. Do you think that wrestling from a young age and then wrestling at the top level in college has added to the success in your career?
Makovsky: Without a doubt wrestling has lead to success in and out of the cage in my life. I will be the first to admit I didn’t work that hard in high school and wasn’t the best wrestler and was lucky to get the chance to walk on at Drexel. When I got there I knew I had to up my game and the first day really showed me that. Wrestling has taught me to step my game up not only training but also helped me improve my work ethic. So yeah I would say wrestling helped me develop.
Now you have had the chance to fight all over the nation and all over the world including Tokyo, how cool was that and what can you tell us about that experience?
Makovsky: Man, I am grateful for everything and every chance I get. It was amazing to go to Tokyo, I had never taken a trip like that. Unfortunately I got sick on the plane trip over so I was kind of miserable and seeing how I flew in on Thursday, weighed in Friday and fought Saturday didn’t help. Man I was a mess, the fight was at 145lbs and I weighed in at 139 so that was rough. I didn’t prepare really well and can’t blame anyone but myself but its all part of the journey.
Wow that is rough but like you said its all part of the journey. Now you have fought in a couple different promotions as well what can you tell us about that and the fans that come to those shows?
Makovsky: Yeah, there has been some amazing places and fans. The Atlantic City fans are always a good time. It is tough to pick my favorite spot but when I fought in Bellator in AC those fans were amazing! Those guys in Bellator do put on a great show and I have been lucky to be a part of some of them like the outdoor fights I had. I don’t know if you could see it on TV but when I fought Bryan Goldsby in Kentucky at Bellator 30 that was like in the middle of a street, people in bars were watching it was really cool. Then the Ed West fight in the finals of the tournament in Arizona that was in a courtyard. It was really different and cool to be a part of.
Yeah you are right had no clue about the fight in Arizona was outside, that’s really cool. Speaking of the Bantamweight Tournament, you are known as a guy that finishes fights yet all three of those wins came via decision. How nerve raking was that for you?
Makovsky: Man, each fight was different and I will be honest I never have a good sense on how a round went, they are always a blur to me. If you ever get a chance when they video my corner you will see me ask if I won that round. So yeah I was pretty nervous but in the West fight I was very confident, thought I controlled him during that fight. The Goldsby fight on the other hand I thought was going to be a draw and we would be going to a 4th round (have to in a tournament). But yeah I am always nervous even when I watch them I get nervous because I am in that blur during the fight.
I can understand that! Now keeping with that tournament you didn’t get a bunch of time off because of the fact the fights were a month apart from each other. Can you talk to us about how to avoided injuries, medical suspensions, fatigue and anything else that could have kept you from winning that tournament.
Makovsky: Man, it was rough. I believe that tournament had the quickest turn around out of any to that time in Bellator. I didn’t think it was fair to have the fights that close but then I remembered that my opponent has to deal with it too. But yeah it isn’t easy and you don’t get a lot of time to prepare for the next guy because it is only a month away. I got sick after the first fight because I trained so hard in prep of that and didn’t think about training for the second fight so that Goldsby fight was rough. Don’t get me wrong I think they are a cool idea and I love how PRIDE and Dream do theirs, I am just not a fan of the way they are run now, they are to spread out and just hard to follow.
What type of wear and tear does that take on the body?
Makovsky: I think I put in 11 rounds in 6 weeks, which is crazy! I was lucky to not take too much damage and I used my superior wrestling to control all three fights. I had little injuries but nothing serious. I guess I was just lucky the way it turned out cause I am sure it could have been worse.
Now you win the Tournament vs Ed West which was for the title then you are handed 2 non title fights right away. Does that change the way you plan or your game plan?
Makovsky: Yeah, it is different and I believe it puts more pressure on the champion because they expect you to win those fights. It’s like I have everything on the line and everything to lose and my opponent has nothing to lose and everything to gain. There is no such thing as an easy fight in the world of Pro MMA and up to that point I don’t think the champ had ever lost those fights so yeah you don’t want to be the first. I treated them the same way I would prepare for any fight and got the wins but yeah it was a bit different, I guess they want to keep the champs active and in the public eye.
Looking at those fights you can hear your fans the entire fight, you have a great group of supporters and die-hard fans. Can you take a second and tell us about your fans.
Makovsky: HAHA yeah man I got a great group of fans. They are solid and I am very grateful to have them. A lot of them come from my wrestling days and support my dream….man they are just awesome!
Now you dropped your last two fights in Bellator and rumors are flying that you were released. Can you clear that up for us and tell us what’s next for you.
Makovsky: Yeah, I was informed after my last loss that I was released because of the losses and they couldn’t keep me active, I don’t have anything vs that promotion but truth be told I was hoping to get out of that contract, I loved my time there but time to move on. They had me at 135lbs but 125lbs is where I am now and where I want to be.
I am now fighting for the CFFC and will have my first Flyweight fight in Atlantic City on May 11th vs Claudio Ledesma at CFFC 24. I am really excited for that and hopefully this is my track to get to the top which is the UFC.
Well, I am sorry about the release but it was awesome watching you fight but glad you have a new home in the CFFC and May 11th will be a date marked on the calendar! Now the age of Fight Club question, if you could fight anyone in the world who would it be and why?
Makovsky: Ok, don’t take this the wrong way I don’t promote or support violence against women but my choice would be Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser. The reason it would be her is I used to be a personal trainer and the way she handles herself and her client’s just gets under my skin. She degrades people and that shouldn’t happen in that profession. Plus, she has a kick boxing background so she can fight.
That is a very interesting answer but with those reasons it makes sense haha. If you could change one thing over your career what would it be and why (if anything)?
Makovsky: If there was one thing I guess it would be I would have liked to prepare myself for Tokyo more than I did. Getting sick and all that really took away from what should have been an amazing trip. That would be the only thing, I know I have lost some fights but that is nothing I regret because I always train hard and fight smart.
Ok, last question. What is one piece of advise you could give to someone thinking of becoming a fighter what would it be?
Makovsky: Start to train because you love it. Don’t get into it to be a fighter do it to learn more and become the best you can be. Also don’t rush into it, get a base cause too many guys rush into the game and it doesn’t work because they aren’t developed. Also train hard and if it develops then great if not keep training.
Thanks a lot Zach for all of this, it’s amazing. Before I let you go are there any sponsors or people you would like to mention?
Makovsky: I would like to thank all my sponsors: Gamma Labs, Fear the Fighter…thanks all my teammates and training partners at Martinez BJJ, Tristar, Marcelo Garcia JJ and Drexel Wrestling Strength and Conditioning. Thanks for having me guys!
There you have it fight fans Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky now of the CFFC! Make sure to give him that follow on Twitter and tune in May 11th for his 1st fight at Flyweight and the start of his road to the UFC! That card is going to be amazing at is also features one of our more amazing interviews in the main event as Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella faces Dave Morgan!!