Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky is the current Bellator Fighting Championships Bantamweight titleholder. Zach is scheduled to defend that title this Friday at Bellator 65 (on MTV2 and spike.com) against Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas. Not only that, but he is also a friend of the BFG team, and the name behind the “Fun Size” line of clothes that are featured on babyfightgear.com.
On October 14th, 2010 Zach won the first ever Bantamweight title belt at Bellator. One would think that all of that notoriety would go to a fighter’s head, but not Zach. Makovsky is one of the most humble, respectful, and laid back people I have ever met. Don’t mistake the niceness for weakness, Zach is a “Fun Size” force to be reckoned with in Bellator Fighting Championships.
Though Zach wouldn’t predict the outcome of Friday night’s fight, we here at babyfightgear.com know he’s going to walk out victorious (See his answer to the question about the hardest thing he has had to overcome), and we will be sitting on the edge of the chair for every second of the fight.
I’d like to thank the BFG crew for allowing me to chat with Zach, and Zach for taking the time to chat with me, as well.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – How has training been going for your upcoming fight with Eduardo Dantas?
Zack Makovsky - Not too different from my normal training, I just up a bit of conditioning and do some more specific work for the opponent, everything went good had a couple little nagging bumps and bruises in the beginning but the last couple weeks started to feel really good, so looking forward to it.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – What motivates you in fighting to stay on top of your game?
Zack Makovsky - I think it’s just how much I love and have a passion for martial arts. You know it’s like every day I wake up and the thing I look forward to the most is going to the gym and training and learning an continuing to develop, that’s what I focus on and that’s really all I need, I like pushing myself to my limits and it’s really about seeing what I’m capable of.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Where is your head at going in to this upcoming fight at Bellator 65
Zack Makovsky - I’m excited I think I have a very talented opponent from a phenomenal team and he’s pretty well rounded, he’s good everywhere, black belt in jiu-jitsu there is no easy way around this fight, should be a good battle but I’m ready, I’m excited to fight people at this caliber it’s more about challenging myself and seeing what I’m capable of, so these kind of fights that are tough are the ones that I’m really looking forward to.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Excellent! Any predictions going in to this fight?
Zack Makovsky - Its so hard to give predictions, I mean in MMA there is so many things you can do, so many ways you can win, and so many ways you can lose, it’s hard to say. Realistically because he is so well rounded he’s going to be difficult to finish, but I plan on trying to control every aspect of the fight, and if I see a submission or a chance to capitalize or hurt him and can finish him with strikes, and if I see a submission I’ll take it, but I don’t know, who knows.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Any thoughts to the rest of the fight card scheduled for Friday?
Zack Makovsky - It’s a pretty stacked card, they have the last two quarter finals in the bantamweight tournament that I am excited for and a featherweight semi final to see whose fighting Marlon Sandro for the tournament championship. Plus a pretty stacked undercard a lot of really talented local fighters from around here fighting on it, should be a great show
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Do you have any messages for your fans tuning in?
Zack Makovsky - Just enjoy the show, have fun watching I will be having fun in it!
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) - Let’s take a step back to Oct 14, 2010 becoming the first bantamweight champion, what did that mean to you?
Zack Makovsky - It was a great feeling and I am glad I won the tournament, and won the title….it was just a little bit of validation for all the work I had been putting in, you know it wasn’t like a specific goal, I take it as a great step and a great point in my career, but you know I try not to define my career with wins and losses, and really just focus on my overall development as a fighter, as an athlete, as a person, and making sure I am continuing to learn and continuing to have fun. But it was a great day, a shining point in my career so far, but in my view just another step along the way
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) - What does the future hold for you in your career?
Zack Makovsky - Hard to say, I have a bunch of fights left on my contract with Bellator, I am sure I will be fighting with them for a couple more fights regardless of the outcome, I just look forward to this upcoming fight for the experience, learning and growing from it and continuing to develop and continuing to have exciting fights. I feel like I am living the dream being able to train and fight and do what I love for a living so I am trying to enjoy it for as long as it lasts.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) - What’s the toughest thing you have had to deal with, as a fighter.
Zack Makovsky - I don’t know, something that really changed me, was early in my career, high school and college, early on I really didn’t know how to handle losing, it is something I viewed as unacceptable and something must have gone wrong and I wasn’t doing enough. It wasn’t until after my first loss that I really started to be able to accept that losing is as much a part of the sport as winning, and that its not the end of the world, and what matters is the experience and you continue to grow and learn. That was a really hard hump for me to get over, I just didn’t get it. Maybe just from my wrestling background, wrestling maybe more than other sports preaches that losing is unacceptable, I have had coaches literally say wining is life, losing is death and stuff like that, maybe it was just kind of in my head from all my years wrestling, I don’t know maybe its just a whole western sports culture thing , but I think getting over that hump and being able to accept losing and understanding that losing doesn’t mean failure was a big step to get over and once I got over that step I started to feel a lot less pressure when I competed and started to have a lot more success and competed at a higher level anyway. Kind of ironic there.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) - Yeah pretty cool thing to learn, and definitely helps in all aspects of life. What would you be doing if you weren’t fighting?
Zack Makovsky - Its hard hard to say you know, I have a degree in biology from Drexel University, but I never wanted to be a researcher or do a lot of lab work so I got in to more of the physical end of it with kinesiology as a conditioning coach for a while and really enjoyed that, really liked coaching people in any endeavor that they chose and I would probably be a coach in some aspect, wresting or strength and conditioning.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) -Are there any downsides to winning the championship?
Zack Makovsky - Nothing that I wouldn’t trade to have the championship belt, I maybe don’t get to fight quite as often as I would like. I’ve only fought twice since 2010 when I won the title. So I’ve been fighting less frequently but I get a bigger stage and more challenging opponents so that is OK. I guess if I had the choice I would fight a little more often, but I think Bellator is working on that too, they’re a young company and are putting on more tournaments each season so you can defend the title or just get more fights in, in a shorter amount of time.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) -When you won the title how long did it take you to quit taking the belt in to bed with you?
Zack Makovsky - Haha, I didn’t take it to bed at all, I took it home showed it to friends and family and then put it where I thought it belonged and put it in our gym, with all the other awards from all the other fighters who fight out of our gym have gotten and received. You know I won the belt but I feel like it is a testament to my whole team and everyone who supported me getting there, so I like to keep it there so everyone can see it because it is really an accomplishment of our whole team.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) - We would love to see you and Dominic Cruz match up, if you had an opportunity to fight him, would you take that fight and what do you think would happen?
Zack Makovsky - I would definitely take that fight, I would be honored to have the opportunity to fight the guy who is pretty much considered the best 135er in the world, it would be a very difficult fight no question about it but, I don’t know I would like to see how I do. I think I have some ideas, you know you can’t stand there and wait for him to come in and let him move around and control the movement, I think you have to press him and make him, or force him, to move where he may not want to. And you know I think if he does have a weakness it is on his back but there has been no one that has been able to keep him there, there have been people to take him down but they can’t hold him there. It would be a difficult challenge but I would love an opportunity like that.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) -What inspires you?
Zack Makovsky - People around me inspire me in a lot of different ways, someone I look up to and have a ton of respect for is the owner of Philadelphia Fight Factory, Stephen Haigh. He is a phenomenal fighter and trainer but beyond that, a very wise person and understands a lot about life and philosophy and has been a good friend and trainer for almost 10 years now and even lived with him for a little over a year, he is someone who really inspires me to keep going and keep learning and not be complacent or satisfied with where things are, like he says “you shouldn’t go through life, you should grow through life.” And I really try to learn as much as I can from him.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) -How do you feel about letting kids in the cage under 18 to compete?
Zack Makovsky - I don’t know hard question, I don’t know if its so much the age, the number that matters or as the maturity or understanding of what they are doing you know, I think what matters more than just age, is maturity and level of training. Young kids will come in to our gym 16 – 18 years old with absolutely zero training in any martial arts and they will talk about how they want to fight in a couple months and we are like…no, that is not how it works you train because you like to train and learn, and if it leads to some type of competition then that is great, and if you do, good-great, but you don’t come in and decide I have never trained a day in my life and want to be the next UFC champion, you know it is good to have goals, but you should be doing it because you love it not because you want some kind of accolade or award out of it
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) - What do you do outside of fighting? What kind of guy is Zach Makovsky?
Zack Makovsky - Laid back, normal, try-to-be-funny-guy, I like comedy, I read, I read a lot of philosophy and science I am in to astronomy and physics at a very admittedly basic level but a lot of that stuff interests me, I like relaxing and enjoying time with my friends and girlfriend.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) -Of course you read the BabyFightGear.com blog every week right?
Zack Makovsky - Ha, haven’t yet, but I will start.
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) - If you could see any two people in history fight who would you see?
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Couple rapid fire questions from our fans, some are silly
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Muhammad Ali vs. Rocky Marciano
Zack Makovsky - Ali
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather
Zack Makovsky – Pacquiao
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Tupac – Biggie
Zack Makovsky - Biggie
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Night club or TV on a Saturday night
Zack Makovsky - TV, to the dismay of my girlfriend
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Sports car or big truck
Zack Makovsky - Sports car
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Chinese – Mexican
Zack Makovsky - both
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – Baseball – Football
Zack Makovsky - watch football but play baseball
Jimmy R. (BabyFightGear) – If you had a superpower – fly or invisible
Zack Makovsky - FLY!
Go get ‘em, Champ! You should be hearing us cheering for you tomorrow night from our living rooms!
BabyFightGear.com is a proud sponsor of Zach Makovsky and partner with the “FunSize” childrens clothing line.